Installing a better air filter in your heating and cooling system is a simple and effective way to improve the air quality in your home. A higher quality air filter will trap more air particles resulting in cleaner air circulating through the ductwork.
There are several types of air filters available to install in your HVAC system. The industry standard for measuring the effectiveness of various air filters is called the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value or MERV rating. MERV ratings run from 1-16 with the higher number filters able to trap smaller air particles.
Here are the types of air filters available to homeowners:
- Fiberglass air filters – The fiberglass filter employs a simple box-like construction and flat panel design. The low MERV rating of 1-4 indicates this filter will only capture large particles. The HVAC system in your home will be protected, but smaller particles will be able to enter your home’s indoor air circulation reducing air quality.
- Pleated or polyester air filters – A high MERV rating of 6-12 is assigned to the pleated filter because of superior particle-trapping ability. The pleated design allows for a large surface that captures small and large particles. Carbon-infused pleated filters remove odors and anti-microbial infused filters remove allergens.
- Washable filters – Regular maintenance is needed for washable filters to maintain efficiency. Installing the filter when it’s still wet can cause fungus to collect on the filter material. Keeping a second filter ready to switch will allow time for the cleaned filter to dry. The MERV rating is a low 1-4.
- High-efficiency air filters – Dense filter material arranged in a pleated design enables this filter to trap very small airborne particles. The MERV rating is a very high 13-16. The dense construction can impede airflow reducing efficiency. High-Efficiency air filters are used by homeowners with special air quality concerns.
If you have any questions or concerns about upgrading your air filter or other home comfort issues, please contact Paschal Heat, Air & Geothermal. We have been proudly serving all of Northwest Arkansas and the surrounding communities for over 45 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Springdale, Arkansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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