Which Air Filters are Best for Your Home?

Heating and cooling systems incorporate an air filter to clean incoming air before it is conditioned and distributed throughout the home. In many HVAC systems, the air cleaner has two different functions. The first is to protect the HVAC system from dust and other particles that can cause component wear and stick to parts such as the fan or evaporator, reducing system efficiency. The second job is to remove dust, pollen, pet dander and other pollutants from the air, which improves indoor air quality and can reduce symptoms of conditions such as asthma and allergies. When it comes to air filters for HVAC systems, media filters can offer more benefits than standard filters with high MERV ratings.

For example, hospitals use filters with a rating of 16, but that's not necessary for your home environment, and using a filter with such a high rating will increase your energy costs. Let's take a look at each type of filter and its features to narrow down the types that may be right for your home. The thicker the air filter, the longer it will last. A 1-inch filter will clog with particulate matter much faster than a 4- or 5-inch filter. When looking at the packaging, check the manufacturer's recommended replacement dates.

This will give you a good idea of the value of a thicker air filter. Medium efficiency MERV filters in the 8 to 13 range can eliminate 90 percent or more of these pollutants. This helps purify the air in your home by eliminating allergens such as pollen, dust, smoke and pet dander. That's why it's important to use only air filters with the MERV rating recommended by the HVAC system manufacturer. You've probably heard how important it is to change your home's air filter on a regular basis. When shopping for air filters online, look for places that allow you to customize your quantity to get exactly what you need.

For the best indoor air quality, you should choose an air cleaner with a MERV rating of at least eight to 10. Some people need HVAC system filters that keep the air free of allergens and other contaminants, while others just need a basic filter to get the job done. That's a myth: The extra surface allows more air to pass through, so the HVAC central unit doesn't have to work as hard to push air through it. Electrostatic filters capture smaller particles than a standard washable filter and are completely reusable. The downside to these filters is that they require your HVAC system to work a little harder to draw air through the unit, which can cause your HVAC system to lose efficiency sooner than expected. Finally, look for online retailers that offer discounts for setting up recurring shipments of air filters (ours is 5%, for example). Feel free to call if you need more information or if you are ready to make an appointment to set up an air filtration system for your home.

Hannah Sawatzki
Hannah Sawatzki

Hipster-friendly pop culture maven. Hipster-friendly web practitioner. Infuriatingly humble bacon nerd. General social media fan. Hipster-friendly beer enthusiast.