How to Choose the Best Air Filter for your Home
When people think about what they can do to improve their home, indoor air quality is an often ignored consideration. Only when they suffer from a respiratory problem or the indoor air quality becomes bad do they start wondering how to improve their air. One of the first things they can do is choose the best air filter.
If you find yourself wondering how to choose the right air filter for your home’s HVAC, here are two important tips to consider:
Tip #1: Choose a Filter with a MERV Rating Between 5 and 14
An air filter’s minimum efficiency reporting value, or MERV rating, is a system of classifying air filters based on their ability to remove particles and contaminants from the air. The lowest MERV rating is one and the highest is 20. Higher ratings remove more contaminants from the air.
An air filter with a MERV rating of five will remove the most mold, hairs, fibers, pet dander and other allergens from the air without resulting in more frequent air filter changes, decreased HVAC efficiency or higher filter costs.
For individuals with special respiratory issues, it’s probably a good idea to choose an air filter with a higher MERV rating, such as 10 or 12. Any filter with a MERV rating of 4 or less won’t do a very good job of removing the most common allergens from the air. However, anything higher than 14 won’t do a significantly better job of cleaning the air yet will be a significant strain on your HVAC system’s air handler.
Tip #2: Avoid HEPA Filters Unless Your HVAC System Can Handle It
HEPA or high-efficiency particulate air filters are a buzzword when it comes to indoor air quality. But due to the density of most HEPA filters, many HVAC systems won’t be able to use one. That’s because the air handlers won’t be able to move air through the thick filter material effectively. Even if your HVAC can run with an HEPA filter installed, you may see a dramatic drop in energy efficiency without much of an air filtration performance boost over an air filter with a MERV rating of 12 or so.
Our team of indoor air quality professionals at Climatech Air, Inc. is happy to discuss what it takes to choose the right indoor air filter for your exact needs. Get in touch with us today.