By now the cold winter months are just a distant memory, but I thought it would be worth sharing a recent winter disaster, avoided, that could also impact the upcoming air conditioning season.
It was a -29 Deg. C on a February evening, about 11PM, just two days before my wife and I left for a week vacation in Mexico and the furnace quit working. I called Efficiency Heating and Cooling and they were fantastic. They had the furnace up and running within a couple of hours. The service technician told me that the reason the furnace failed was that I was using one of those expensive washable microbial filters that after years of use and several washings became too restrictive to the air flow. He recommended that I use a pleated filter with an MERV8 rating. MERV ratings go from one to 16 with 16 being the best at removing irritants from the air. Generally MERV8 is reasonably efficient at removing particles such as mould spores, pollen, dust mites, pet dander and household dust and still are good at letting through a sufficient volume of air if maintained regularly.
A good way to tell if a filter is too restrictive is to remove it while the furnace is running. If the furnace runs much quieter without the filter, that means that it is too restrictive and this is hard on the furnace.
Similarly with air conditioning, the proper air filter will help with efficiency and be easier on the heating and cooling system. Here is hoping we have a long hot summer!