Because several kinds of air filters exist in the average home improvement store, choosing the right one might take some effort. Yet getting the same air filters as you always do may be a mistake. Your air filter impacts your system’s performance and energy efficiency as well as your indoor air quality. This means you’ll benefit from selecting the most appropriate air filter. Equipping your system with the right air filter is important, especially in regions where the climate requires you to run an air conditioner throughout the hot season. Here are some tips to help you find the best air filter for your needs this summer.
1. Know the Air Filter Type That Suits Your System
Becoming familiar with the air filters on the market is imperative to finding the right one for you, an HVAC filter that will provide good service. The options include flat-panel, pleated, or washable air filters. Flat-panel filters are made of polyester, fiberglass, or other synthetic materials. Their design can free your HVAC system of bigger debris particles such as pet dander, pollen, and dirt.
Pleated filters are thicker and are made of either a cotton-polyester blend or a synthetic material. Pleated filters have a huge surface area and greater density; therefore, they can easily trap the tiny particles in the air entering your home. Washable air filters are a more ecologically responsible choice because you can reuse them after cleaning.
2. Filter Size
HVAC air filters are available in numerous sizes and thicknesses. Start with the width and length, which will be very specific to your AC.
Thick filters are more effective than thin ones because they have a greater capacity to trap allergens and particles. However, before heading to the market, check the manual for your AC’s filter indications. If you’ve misplaced the user manual, take a picture of the filter for reference. Thicker air filters are efficient, but that doesn’t mean they will perform well on your system. Moreover, the thicker the air filter, the harder your unit’s fan has to work to control your home’s temperature.
3. Disposable or Reusable Filters
When learning how to select the right air filter for your HVAC system, it is important to understand the difference between a disposable and a reusable filter. Periodic replacement of your HVAC system will ensure that your unit provides high-quality indoor air. A good air filter prevents dust from reaching the fan and the coils. Disposable filters are usually made with eco-friendly materials and are lightweight and cheap. When you buy a new HVAC filter, you can talk to professionals about replacing the current one.
Reusable filters have an aluminum frame and electrostatic fibers, which enable them to trap dust particles. Reusable filters can be washed and used repeatedly. In most cases, this is a simple process involving water and a mild detergent like dish soap, and you can easily do it yourself.
4. Know the MERV Rating
The HVAC industry measures the efficiencies of air filters using the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) ratings. These ratings assess how an air filter can capture and prevent dust particles from entering your home. High MERV ratings mean that the air filter can easily capture dust particles and ensure that the air in your house is of high quality.
The MERV rating ranges between 1 and 20. MERV 1 to 4 usually applies to fiberglass filters. Filters with this MERV rating provide a basic level of protection, but they do not clean the air thoroughly. MERV 5 to 8 air filters provide better indoor air quality. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) professionals have found out that filters with MERV ratings of 7 to 13 provide efficiency and cost-effectiveness for most homes.
MERV 9 to 12 air filters are made of synthetic materials. They trap 95% of dust particles; therefore, they are a good selection if your concern is choosing a highly efficient air filter. These filters are best for households with asthma, allergies, or other respiratory conditions present.
MERV 13 to 20 can filter all the dust particles from your indoor air. However, before selecting an air filter of any MERV rating, talk to our local experts, who will recommend the best filter for your home and your particular equipment system. Remember that filters capable of trapping the most particulates are also harder to draw air through.
The weather conditions in your region also influence which type of HVAC filter you should choose. For instance, you might live in a humid region where mildew and mold growth are serious concerns. Such a place requires you to use an air filter with a MERV rating of six or higher. This reduces the risk of mildew and mold establishing in the filter. That could prevent the proper circulation of air in your home. If your area is intensively humid, replacing your filter once a month is imperative.
6. Choose An Air Filter Made of The Right Material
Air filters are made of different materials. An inexpensive and standard option is a filter made of fiberglass. Fiberglass filters are typically one inch thick and are relatively cheap. However, a filter like this cannot collect all the dust particles from the air entering your home. Opting for a fiberglass air filter will require you to replace it frequently.
Pleated filters are better than fiberglass ones. Pleated filters are typically four inches thick. They are more durable and can prevent most dust particles from circulating in your home. These air filters cost more than fiberglass ones, but they can last significantly longer.
7. Know When It’s Time for A New Filter
Knowing the right time to dispose of your old air filter and purchase another is as vital as knowing how to select the right one. The above tips can assist you in choosing the right air filter, but your system might only operate as needed if you replace the current filter at the right time. If you notice dust inside your home, your current filter cannot remove unwanted and unhealthy particles from the air. The filter might be clogged and need to be replaced. If your home isn’t heating or cooling efficiently, that’s another indication your air filter might be clogged and need replacement. High energy bills are also a clue.
Rely on Your Local Professionals
At Absolute Air, we provide outstanding heating, cooling, and indoor air quality services to customers in Morgantown, WV, Pittsburgh, PA, and the surrounding areas. That includes installation, repair, and maintenance. We offer the finest systems at the best prices, and 100% satisfaction is guaranteed with our services. Our technicians are always prompt, knowledgeable, and friendly, and they’re ready to make your home comfortable. From ensuring your room temperature is optimal all year to improving air quality and efficiency, we are the best at what we do, and we have an A+ rating with the BBB. You can count on us for unmatched customer service, and if you need more information on this or any other HVAC topic, call us at Absolute Air today.