Did you know that there is polluted air inside your home? To keep your family safe from harmful airborne contaminants, you need the right HVAC filters to stop dust and dirt from entering your system. Not only that, these filters also make sure that your heating and cooling systems are not overworked, which may lead to high energy bills and damaged units.
The Ice-Man, known throughout the area for top-quality AC repair services, shares tips to help you choose the right HVAC filters for your home.
Understand MERV Ratings
The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) is the measurement of how well an HVAC filter captures particles in the air, how efficiently air flows through it and how long it should last. The MERV scale for residential air filters ranges from 1 to 16. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter. Although filters with a high MERV rating cannot eliminate the need for dusting, it does help reduce that need.
Know the Types of Air Filters
When choosing HVAC air filters, the MERV rating is not the only thing to look for. Your furnace or AC contractor will emphasize the importance of knowing the different types of air filters to ensure your home receives the best possible solution. Below, we list the most common types of residential HVAC filters and their MERV rating:
- Fiberglass air filters are typically the most affordable option. These filters have thin, flat surfaces that trap particles and clean the air. However, they only catch up to 20 percent of pollutants, typically large particles such as dust, lint and small insects. When it comes to improving indoor air quality, these filters are not as effective as other types. Fiberglass air filters only have MERV ratings from 1 to 4.
- Electrostatic air filters contain self-charging electrostatic cotton or paper fibers that attract and trap small particles. These filters are affordable in standard sizes and are ideal for homes with children, pets and/or smokers. To keep your home free of airborne contaminants, be sure to replace disposable electrostatic filters every three months. MERV ratings for electrostatic air filters usually range from 6 to 8.
- Pleated air filters capture 70 to 90 percent of the pollutants in your home. These filters are made from polyester or cotton paper. The more pleats, the better the coverage. Like electrostatic air filters, this type of filter needs to be switched out every three months. Pleated air filters have a MERV rating from 6 to 13.
- High-efficiency air filters are considered the most effective filters. Some are made from pleated synthetic cotton, which can trap up to 95 percent of particles down to 0.3 microns in size. These include tiny dust particles, pollen and mold. UV filters are high-end filters with the components of a standard filter but with a germ-killing UV light. For this reason, the MERV rating of high-efficiency air filters ranges from 9 to 12.
Consider Air Filter Maintenance
How often you need to change your HVAC filters will depend on many factors, including the filter type and efficiency, the number of people and pets in your home and more. Check the manufacturer’s recommended filter change schedule. This is usually listed on the filter’s packaging, with instructions based on the filter and the conditions in your home.
In need of heating or air conditioning repair? Look no further than The Ice-Man. Our professional HVAC technicians are ready to provide top-quality repair services! Call us today at (609) 466-9020 or fill out our contact form to book an appointment.