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Understanding Your Air Filtration System

The average homeowner only has a basic understanding of the importance of the air filters in their air conditioning units, and even if they do have a deeper understanding, it doesn’t always mean they are changing them as frequently as they should. The type and maintenance schedule of your air filters has a huge impact on the air quality of your home and the efficiency of your system as a whole. Don’t get left in the dust (pun entirely intended): a better understanding of your air filtration system can help you keep it functioning properly and keep your family healthier in the process.

Mechanical air filter for AC unit

Mechanical air filters are the most common type of filter in residential AC units. These filters are equipped with synthetics fibers that are tightly woven to trap stray particulate matter and dust that contaminates your indoor air. They can collect a startling amount of material, leaving you to wonder what took you so long to change it in the first place.

The efficiency of air filters is rated on a scale called the MERV, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The higher the MERV ratings, the better it is at removing pollutants from the air, and the less frequently it needs to be replaced.

Of the many varieties of mechanical air filters available, each has its own benefits and characteristics that make it more or less appropriate for your home. Below are the three most common types of filters that are appropriate for nearly any type of residence.

Pleated air filters have a MERV rating of 10-13 and can remove up to 45% of the particulate matter in your home. Their accordion design allows them to have more surface area across the face of the filter, trapping more dust and providing better airflow throughout your space. A minimum of 18 pleats per foot is an excellent baseline standard for this filter.

High-Efficiency air filters have a MERV rating between 14-16 and remove up to 85% of air pollutants. They have incredibly fine, porous surfaces that can trap even the smallest particles of dust, dander, mold spores, and bacteria cells. For serious allergy sufferers, these filters can even come treated with chemicals to kill the bacteria and mold that contribute to seasonal allergies.

Fiberglass air filters were originally designed as a mechanism to prolong the life of your AC unit, not to improve indoor air quality. Thus, their MERV rating is 1-4, removing only 10% of contaminants in your air. These filters provide the baseline coverage you need, and while inexpensive, should be changed every 3-6 months.

Watch your utility bills drop, your runny noses stop, and your overall comfort increase with proper filter maintenance. Your AC unit is one of the most advanced appliances in your home, so help it run smoothly with the best tools for optimum function. Not sure how to change your filter, or how often you need to? Give us a call at (949) 245-6320.

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Just Right was able to come within a few hours- helpful when the A/C is broken and its 90 degrees. The team were really nice, courteous guys who explained everything to me and provided an estimate to sign before proceeding with the work. Our A/C was up and running within an hour at a reasonable price. Thank you!


Great HVAC Repair company! They answered when I called this morning and in the middle of Summer had a repair person out this afternoon. Our repair guy Robert May was incredibly nice, professional, and did a great job of explaining what was wrong as he fixed it. Now our AC is working perfectly!


Very responsive – called to request service on a Monday morning and repairman arrived after lunch the next day. Service was excellent. Technician was professional and knowledgeable. Every step of the repair process was explained. AC unit is now working efficiently. Recommendations were made but did not push us to purchase other services or parts. Would 100% recommend!

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