Air Conditioning Filters - Which One is Right for You?

Our HVAC technicians are often asked about their recommendations for HVAC filters. Customers want to know what type of filter should be used to improve the efficiency of their HVAC systems. In past years, fiberglass filters were the most commonly used. However, pleated filters have overtaken fiberglass filters in popularity. Pleated filters are more effective than fiberglass at removing particulates from the air and these filters have a higher industry rating. 

When Air Quality Matters

A measurement of the effectiveness of the filter is the MERV rating. A higher MERV rating indicates that the filter traps smaller particles. When air quality matters, select a filter with a higher MERV rating. HVAC experts recommend that homeowners use a filter with a MERV rating of at least 6. 

The MERV Rating

The acronym “MERV” stands for the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The MERV number is an indicator of the size of the particles that will be blocked by the filter.

Four types of AC filters available at your local home improvement store. 

  • Fiberglass Filters - Standard fiberglass filters may have a MERV rating between 1 and 4. This low MERV rating indicates that the filter does not block small microns very effectively. Though once an industry standard, fiberglass filters are being used less and less. Other filter types are more effective.
  • Pleated Filters - A pleated filter has more surface area and can collect smaller microns than fiberglass. Pleated filters may have MERV ratings between 5 and 8. Most residential homes now use pleated filters. 
  • Electrostatic Filters - Some homeowners choose to use electrostatic filters. These filters add a level of static protection and they remove bacteria from the air. 
  • HEPA Filters - HEPA filters are rated with the highest MERV rating of all types of filters. “HEPA” stands for high efficiency particulate air and, by definition, HEPA filters are the most efficient filters available. HEPA filters can have a MERV rating as high as 16 as these filters can remove particulates smaller than .3 microns from the air. 

If air quality matters in your home, select air conditioning filters with higher MERV ratings. However, make sure that the filter will fit and work well with your system. For example, some HEPA filters with very high MERV ratings are designed for use in hospitals and clean environments. The average residential HVAC system in Port Neches TX will not accommodate these commercial filters. Your HVAC technician can advise you with regards to the type of filter that is best for your system and needs. Your HVAC professional will likely recommend a pleated filter with a MERV rating of 6 or above. Be sure to make a note of the measurements of the filter. Most air conditioning filters are provided in a variety of sizes. 

When you have questions about your choice of air conditioning filters, call Thermacon Service Company. Our HVAC professionals will recommend the right filter for your air conditioning system. Thermacon Service Company provides HVAC repair, maintenance and installation services to customers in the greater Port Neches TX area.

Reduce the Cost of Heating and Cooling - It's Easy!

Rising energy rates and unpredictable weather extremes have many people in Port Arthur TX thinking about ways to reduce the cost of heating and cooling their homes. The good news is that saving money on energy expenses is easier than you might think. Employing a few cost-saving strategies can make all the difference. Well-maintained energy-efficient products combined with a few home improvements can make it significantly less costly to keep your home comfortable no what the weather outside may be.

Make It Easy to Heat and Cool Your Home

Leaks and drafts force your HVAC equipment to run longer to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Affordable home improvements like weather-stripping windows and caulking leaks and gaps can help insulate your home against the weather outside. Sealing the building envelope of your home also helps keep the conditioned air that your HVAC equipment produces indoors. 

Optimize Your Heating and Cooling System's Air Flow

Forced-air HVAC systems rely on a maze of ducts to deliver conditioned air and recover household air. Over time, leaks and gaps can develop in the ductwork, causing up to 30 percent of the air to be wasted. Properly sealing and insulating the ductwork can substantially increase your heating and cooling system's energy efficiency and improve performance. Because proper air flow depends upon a balanced exchange between delivered and returned air, sealing and insulating ducts is best left in the hands of qualified professionals. Improper work can actual impair air flow.

Install High Energy-Efficiency Products

If your heating or cooling system is more than 10 years old, you'll likely save money by replacing the equipment. Strict energy efficiency standards enacted over the last decade have resulted in HVAC equipment that uses far less energy while delivering an enhanced level of comfort. The sticker price of an HVAC product is less significant that the savings achieved through years of lower monthly energy bills. At Thermacon Service Company, we'll calculate the product's annual operating costs for you so that you can make a true apples-to-apples comparison.

Enroll in a Planned Maintenance Program

HVAC equipment is designed to run optimally when well maintained. Without regular maintenance, dust, grime and debris collect on parts and equipment, impairing the system's efficiency. Because each part is engineered to work in sync with each other, a single malfunction can throw the entire system out of whack. Enrolling in a planned maintenance service program is an easy and convenient way to make sure that your HVAC systems operate at peak efficiency, saving you money on monthly energy bills.

As a leading HVAC provider in Port Arthur TX, we specialize in highly efficient HVAC products that you can depend upon to deliver maximum savings. Our skilled HVAC technicians have the experience and expertise needed to ensure that your HVAC equipment provides you and your family with long-term satisfaction. Thermacon Service Company makes it easy reduce the cost of heating and cooling your home.

How Does a Heat Pump Work?

As a homeowner in Beaumont TX, you rely on some type of heating equipment to ensure your comfort during the chilly winter weather. In generally mild climates such as this area, a heat pump provides effective and energy efficient heat. These systems work on the premise of heat transfer and can move heat from the outdoors to the inside during the winter months, while reversing this cycle during the summer to function as a central air conditioner. Our HVAC service technicians at Thermacon Service Company explain how a heat pump works and what you can do to ensure it operates efficiently and effectively through its lifespan.

Operating Principles

Heat pumps work on the principle of heat transference. The system uses energy to transfer heat from a warmer environment to a cooler one. The means of heat transfer is performed with the use of a chemical coolant that changes states from liquid to gas as heat is absorbed or released. The compressor is a powerful pump that transfers the refrigerant into the condenser, where it gains pressure and heat. Air flowing past the condenser cools the refrigerant and the heat is released to the indoors in the winter. In the summer months, the system reverses its cycle and the outdoor tube acts as the condenser and heat from the indoors is ventilated to the outside. The system's fan blows the air into the air ducts.

Backup Heating

Some heat pumps have an auxiliary heating function in the form of electric coils. When the outdoor air drops below a certain temperature, the heat pump automatically activates these electric coils to provide supplemental heat. This heat is more costly to produce and some homeowners choose to install a gas furnace as a backup system because gas heats more efficiently than electric coils.

Maintenance Needs

Heat pumps require regular maintenance just like all other mechanical systems. The most important maintenance need is a clean air filter. The system's air filter quickly becomes clogged with dust and dirt as air passes through it. As the filter's pores fill with this debris, the pump has to work harder to deliver the heated air to the air ducts. This results in overworking of the system, which could lower its lifespan and causes it to consume more energy. The air filter needs cleaning or replacement at least every 90 days. Heat pumps should receive a preventive maintenance tune-up at the start of each year's heating season and the annual cooling season.

At Thermacon Service Company, our goal is to help home and business owners enjoy the highest level of indoor comfort possible. We have built a strong reputation for heating and air conditioning service that is affordable, reliable and on time. We take customer satisfaction seriously and work tirelessly to ensure you are pleased with the comfort level and service we provide. For more information about how a heat pump works or to schedule a maintenance or repair service for your heating system, contact us at any time.

Why Carrier Invented Air Conditioning

As a homeowner in Nederland TX, you might not be able to imagine how life would be without air conditioning. Stores, restaurants, hospitals and municipal buildings would be stifling and unbearable during the summer months. Homes are no longer built to allow good natural ventilation and without air conditioning would be nearly uninhabitable. In 1902, Willis Carrier invented air conditioning as we know it today. Our heating and air conditioning team at Thermacon Service Company explains why Mr. Carrier invented air conditioning and how you can get the best performance from your central air conditioner.

History of the Modern Air Conditioner

In the printing industry, humidity can have disastrous effects on the presses. This was the case in the early 20th century, which is why Willis Carrier was tasked with solving this problem. As an engineer, Carrier was working on an assignment with the Sackett-Wilhelms Lithographing & Publishing Company in Brooklyn, New York. Their printing presses were not operating well in the heat and humidity of July 1902. Carrier created drawings and diagrams detailing a machine that would solve the problem by controlling the temperature, lowering the humidity, circulating and cleaning the air. This machine was the air conditioner. After a few years of refinement, he designed the automatic control system for humidity reduction, which was awarded a patent in 1914. Later that year, he and a group of other engineers formed the Carrier Company, which became the Carrier Corporation in 1930 after merging with other refrigeration businesses.

Carrier's Legacy

Carrier's legacy includes the pioneering of large refrigeration systems for warehouses and multistory buildings as well as residential air conditioning systems. Without residential air conditioning, the desert states and southern states would not have enjoyed the population growth they have experienced in the past 100 years.

Air Conditioning in Your Home

In order to maintain an efficient and effective residential air conditioning system, regular maintenance is a must. Air filters need replacement at least every 90 days for optimal system performance. A professional tune-up before the onset of the cooling season helps to ensure that the system is in proper working order. This preventive maintenance includes coil cleaning, draining of the condensate line, lubrication of mechanical parts and a check of the coolant level. With careful maintenance, your air conditioner will provide relief for years.

At Thermacon Service Company, we take pride in helping Nederland TX home and business owners achieve and maintain indoor comfort. Ever since Mr. Carrier invented air conditioning, customers have successfully sought out respite from the heat and humidity. Our team of experienced air conditioning and heating service technicians will help you ensure that your air conditioner is working at its peak level of performance. When it comes time for a new central air conditioning system to be installed in your home, we are here to do the job so that you can enjoy an inviting home. For more information about how air conditioners work or to schedule a service appointment, contact us at any time.