To keep both you and your HVAC system healthy, it’s essential that you get the best air filter you can. How do you know which filter is best for your HVAC system? Here’s a basic guide.
Types of Air Filters
There are several different materials to choose from when selecting a filter. They include:
- Fiberglass: The cheapest type, fiberglass filters capture large particles but are less effective against dust and smaller contaminants.
- Pleated: These are more effective, providing a larger surface area to trap more unwanted particles and smaller particulates.
- Electrostatic: Rather than simply providing a physical barrier to contaminants, these filters create an electrostatic charge that attracts particles and traps them, making them much more efficient.
- Reusable: A reusable air filter can be rinsed of contaminants and put back in your unit. While this saves money, the filters are not much more efficient than fiberglass. Additionally, if you fail to clean your filter properly, it can lead to fungal and bacterial growth.
Whatever kind of filter you get, it’s essential that you replace it at least every three to six months. Otherwise, it can get clogged, which hinders its performance.
Air Filter Efficiency Ratings
The best way to figure out the quality of your filter is by looking at the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV). MERV ratings tell you just how efficient your HVAC system is at removing particles from the air. The best home air filters have a rating between 9 and 12. These can eliminate miniscule particles such as milled flour and auto emissions.
Any filter rated above 12 is considered a high-efficiency air filter, designed for hospitals and laboratory clean rooms. They can eliminate contaminants like bacteria, viruses, and cigarette smoke. However, they’re not designed for residential HVAC systems. They’re much too thick and can damage your system if you install them. If you do decide your home needs a high-efficiency filter, you’ll also need a separate air filtration system to accommodate it.
To learn more about air filters and improving indoor air quality, contact us at Arpi’s Industries. We’re Calgary’s trusted source for quality HVAC solutions.
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 Guide.
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