Tip & How-To about Heating & Cooling

What type of Air Filter should I use for my air conditioner / heater?

If you are wondering what type of air filter to use in your air conditioner/heater, you probably have already discovered there is a large variety of air filters out there to choose from.

There are several factors to consider when the choosing the best air filter to suit your needs.

1. Maintenance : level of difficulty ; interval of service
2. Efficiency : level of desired filtration and its affect on system performance
3. Annual Cost : Material and labor

Maintenance is something that can be overlooked at first. Afterall, it's just a filter, right? Filter types range from disposable to permanent. Disposables are pulled out, thrown away, and replaced with a new disposable filter. Permanent air filters must be removed, cleaned, allowed time to dry, and re-installed. Permanent air filters may or may not require electricity.

Efficiency is determined by a MERV rating of 1 thru 16 with "1" being the lowest and "16" being the highest. Low end residential air filters generally have a rating between 1 & 5. Medium grades range between 5 & 9. Higher grades are in the 9-11 range. Utimate is 11 - 13. The lower the rating, the lower the efficiency of air filtration but higher airflow due to lower resistance. The higher the rating, the higher the efficiency of air filtration but lower airflow due to higher resistance. Lower MERV ratings have minimal affects on your air conditioner/furnace performance. Higher MERV ratings can decrease the amount of air passing through the system creating system performance issues which could lead to system failure and/or decreased life. If Maximum efficiency is desired, it is recommended you consult with your HVAC contractor who can help you identify a filtration system to satisfy your needs without comprimising the performance and life expectancy of your heating and air conditioning system. Maximum efficiency air filtration will not only be capable of capturing fine particles, but it can also capture bacteria and smoke. If you determine that Maximum efficiency is not in your budget and/or not required, you should be able to install an air filter with a MERV rating of 1 - 11 without needing to consult with a contractor. MERV 8 has been laboratory tested to capture mold spores which are a big contributor to Mold in an A/C system. Additional Information on MERV Ratings - Click Here. Lower efficiency filters allow more particles to pass through which could end up getting trapped in today's higher efficiency evaporator coils. Today's coils have much smaller gaps than their predecessors making them more susceptible to collecting debris and requiring costly professional cleanings.

Annual Cost is another often-overlooked consideration when deciding what type of air filter to use. To determine annual cost, you must try to determine approximately how often you will need to replace/service your air filter and the costs of labor & materials involved. I include labor because if you have a hard-to-reach air filter or a high efficiency air filter/cleaner that requires special care, you may need a contractor to perform the service for you. Of course, if you are doing the service yourself, there is no labor involved with the exception of your own time and gas, etc. If you choose the ever-popular disposable air filter route, you should consider pleated-type air filters. Pleated Air Filters have more face area than standard air filters; therefore, they typically have a longer life expectancy - up to 3 times longer for every inch of filter thickness. In short, when determinining annual cost, you must calculate labor/material cost and multiply that cost by the number of times a year the service will need to be provided.

Proper maintenance and upkeep of your air filtration system is the single, most important service your heating & air conditioning system requires to keep it running at top performance and maintain peak life expectancy. Careful consideration is needed to determine what type of filter will meet your family's needs both on a comfort level as well as financially.

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1 Answer

I have no hot water, how do I change the filter in a Bock Water Heater 32E 32 gal oil-fired hot water heater ?


Unfortunately, looking at the manual for the water heater, the filter is a separate item. And the recommended Delavan line filter page just shows a picture and part numbers of the item, not how to remove it.
I suspect it works in such a way that you hold the end nut portion and turn the large nut portion with open end wrenches. You will need the internal filter replacement and possibly new seals, probably in a kit.

Line Filter

You'll want to turn off the power to the oil pump so you don't make a large mess.

Jul 20, 2016 | Water Water Heaters

1 Answer

Can you tell me what nozzle and filters I need to clean my furnace?


Replace filter with same size currently used (unless filter doesn't fit ) , and use a pleated style filter of the cheaper type . There mar be a wall or ceiling mounted filter on return air vent or a filter inside front of heater .

Oct 02, 2014 | Heating & Cooling

1 Answer

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Model: REG-123H
  • UPC: 855326002968
  • Product Type: 12,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner & Heater
  • Product Dimensions: L: 24.00" x W: 24.00" x H: 16.00"
  • Product Weight: 88.00 lbs.
  • Product Color: White
  • Application: Used to cool individual rooms
  • Type: Window Air Conditioner
  • Warranty: 1 year; 5 years sealed system
  • Coverage Area: 550 square feet
  • Voltage: 230 volts
  • Heater: Yes
  • Air Flow: 266 CFM
  • Amps: 5.5 amps
  • Heating Capacity: 11000 BTUs
  • Frequency: 60 Hz
  • Cooling Capacity: 12000 BTUs
  • Dehumidifying Capacity: 3.6 pints
  • EER: 9.8
  • Heat Pump: No
  • Number of Fan Speeds: 3
  • Programmable Timer: Yes
  • Timer Length: 24 hour
  • Refrigerant Type: R-410A
  • Air Conditioner Type: Cool/Heat
  • Energy Star Rated: No
  • Air Filter: Yes
  • Built-In Air Purification System: No
  • Display Type: Digital
  • Remote Control: Yes
  • Adjustable Louvers: Yes
  • Adjustable Side Panels: Yes
  • Compatible Window Size: Min. Window
  • May 31, 2014 | Comfort-Aire RED-123 Air Conditioner

    1 Answer

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    There are a variety of probable causes of your AC's failure to blow cool air. Unfortunately, it is difficult to diagnose your situation without being there. However, I have a great, handy diagnostic article that specifies the main problems so that you can definitely come to find the cause applicable to your AC's failure. You AC may need a recharge of refrigerant/Freon by a technician, but short of that, try this first:
    http://yourhandymanzone.com/Your_Handyman_Zone_How_To_Pages_Home_Improvement_Zone_Cooling_Ventilation_Systems_Central_Air_Conditioning_Does_Not_Cool.htm
    This should defintely help.
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    http://www.residential.carrier.com/support/troubleshooting.shtml
    Here is some troubleshooting tips.
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