A little confused about air filters

I’ve been looking into how often I should replace the air filters in my furnace and air conditioner.

I’ve also read up on the different types of filters, hoping to invest in the best option for superior energy efficiency and indoor air quality.

While I’ve gained a lot of knowledge, I’ve also gotten frustrated with the lack of definite answers. There are websites and blogs that recommend changing filters every month, while others say every six months is fine. I know that if I have pets in the house, filters should be replaced more often. I have a miniature poodle, but he doesn’t shed very much. I’m not sure if he qualifies as a reason to switch out filters more frequently. I used to think that the air filter in the furnace and air conditioner was designed to improve the cleanliness and health of the living space. I was wrong. The filter protects the inner workings of theh heating and cooling unit from contamination. It traps dust, dander, pollen and other particles that would otherwise get inside and buildup on components. This accumulation gradually restricts airflow and makes it more difficult for moving parts to do their job. The system then needs to run more often and longer. It struggles to meet the thermostat setting and experiences greater wear and tear. Efficiency suffers and there’s an increased risk of malfunction. Plus, the system can distribute these pollutants into the breathing air which causes a health risk. This made me think that I wanted to buy the very best filters on the market. Filters have MERV ratings. The higher the rating, the smaller the holes and the more debris gets trapped. Initially, I assumed that a higher MERV rating was better. However, the smaller holes means that the filter becomes clogged more quickly and requires replacement more often.

air conditioner installation