Have you ever wondered to yourself as to why there seem to be so many different types of air filters for your HVAC system? That may seem confusing but once you have figured out the rating system it will become a little clearer. What is important is determining what you need to protect your health and your HVAC system.
The MERV (Minimum Efficiency Rating Value) ratings on air filters are designed to give you a standard frame of reference when comparing the efficiency of air filters available. MERV ratings are on a scale of 1—20, with ratings of 5 to 13 the best for most homes. Higher-rated filters are usually for commercial or hospital settings.
Air Filter Types
Fiberglass Air Filters—The most basic air filter available, these are designed to keep larger particulates out of your HVAC system to keep it running efficiently. This filter will do little to improve air quality and usually has a MERV rating of between 1 and 4.
Pleated Air Filters—These filters will perform much better than the standard fiberglass filter. The pleated polyester/cotton fibers are designed to capture smaller air particulates. A pleated air filter can arrest up to half the air particles circulating in your home. These filters come in a wide variety and have MERV ratings ranging from 8 and 13.
Washable Air Filters—This is a washable and reusable air filter. Most HVAC technicians do not recommend this air filter as they have a tendency to collect bacteria and fungus. They are only designed to last between two and three years.
Electrostatic Air Filters—This is a heavy-duty filter that is also washable and reusable. This filter has layers of plastics and filtration media that generate static electricity of positive and negative ions as air passes through the filter. The static field attracts particulates to stick to the media. Electrostatic filters range from MERV 6—13. When properly maintained an electrostatic filter can arrest up to 90 percent of particulates from the air.
For more questions on which air filters are right for your home, contact us at Arpi’s Industries, Ltd.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Calgary, Alberta 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. Image courtesy of Shutterstock