Typically, if you need of a new air filter you go to the nearest hardware store, grocery store or wholesale warehouse and pick a filter that fits into your HVAC system. Picking out a random air filter, however, may not save you money nor improve your home’s indoor air quality. Just like other purchases you make, there are many factors that go into selecting the right air filter for your home. The filter should perform efficiently and cost effectively.
Before making your selection, the first thing to understand are MERV ratings. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiently Reporting Value. It is a numerical value that rates the effectiveness of an air filter. MERV ratings are calculated by measuring the number of particles trapped in a filter compared to the total number the particles in the air trying to go through the filter. This means that if there are two filters in the same room, the filter that traps fewer particles will have a lower MERV rating.
MERV ratings aren’t the only factor involved in choosing the right filter for your AC unit. Selecting the filter with the highest MERV rating may lead to purchasing an air filter that potentially makes your HVAC system less efficient as it will block too much air flow. If this happens, the system is unable to heat or cool enough air to correctly maintain the temperature in your house. This means higher energy bills and the entire system could overheat.
The answer is BALANCE. The best choice is a filter that removes the most pollutants (MERV rating) and allows your HVAC system to perform efficiently. The following are the four different types of filters, their material makeup, their MERV rating and additional information that will help you make a decision.
Made from spun fiberglass and typically blue in color, these filters are one of the most popular types. They’re MERV rating is between 1 and 4 (low) and they trap 80% of particles 50 microns and larger/25% of particles between 3 and 10 microns. They do a great job of protecting your HVAC unit from large dust particles; however, they do not trap mold, pollen or other small particulates and are not recommended for people with allergies.
Pleated Air Filters
Comprised of folded sheets of cotton or a polyester-blend fabric, pleated filters are folded accordion style that allows for a larger fabric surface in a smaller area. The pleats make it easier for the air to pass through the filter making them more efficient. These air filters have a MERV rating between 5 and 8, trapping 80-95% of particles 5 microns and larger. If you find a cotton/polyester filter with lots of pleats and a MERV value of 6 or greater, this could be an ideal air filter solution. With these ratings, the filter removes a large number of pollutants AND keeps your HVAC system working at max efficiency.
Pleated air filters are also found with high MERV ratings from 11 to 13, trapping particles as small as 0.3 microns. At this efficiency level, they are approximately 2″-5″ thick and fit into box-like housings mounted onto the air handler.
Disposable Electrostatic Filters
Boasting a MERV rating of 10+, these filters are very effective at decontaminating indoor air. Electrostatic filters are composed of multiple layers of self-charging, polyester-blend fibers that create a static charge which attract particulates out of the air. They are framed by a polyester mesh that is positively charged. As air passes through the outer material, particulate matter becomes positively charged which is attracted to the negatively-charged inner material. Electrostatic filters are usually more expensive than fiberglass or pleated air filters.
Washable Electrostatic Filters
These filters are made of washable material, cased in aluminum mesh and framed in aluminum and MERV ratings of up to 10 or higher. For max efficiency, they need to be washed about every 3 months and their quality varies with cost. Higher quality washable electrostatic filters can last up to 8 years! There are some, however, that aren’t high efficiency and its difficult to determine the difference. After the filters are washed, they must be dried completely. Even the littlest bit of moisture left on a filter that is placed back in the air exchange can grow mold and bacteria that is recirculated back through your home.
US Home Filter Carries AC Filters to Fit All HVAC Units
No matter which HVAC system you have, every unit needs a quality filter that fits properly to keep your indoor air quality clean and your heat running at its maximum efficiency. US Home Filter can supply you with the best and most efficient HVAC filter available! Changing the filter is as important as changing the oil in your car and US Home Filter makes filters that fit all AC/HVAC units. From standard to custom air filters, to whole-house filters, grille filters and humidifier filters, we have all of your filter needs covered!
Order now from US Home Filter and receive FREE SHIPPING on your order!
Selecting the filters that are right for your home can be difficult and confusing at times. At US Home Filter we understand this, which is why we offer an experienced staff to help answer any questions you may have. For personal assistance with your air filter needs, please contact us now online or call us at (855) 237-1673 and we will do our very best to assist you in selecting the right filter for your individual needs. We want to earn your business and we guarantee your satisfaction! Take advantage of our quality products, vast selection, low prices, and enjoy FREE SHIPPING on every air filter order within the Contiguous USA.