How to Choose The Right Air Filters for Your Home
Keeping your home’s air clean is essential for both your family’s health and comfort. It can be quite difficult for Minneapolis homeowners to choose the right air filters simply because there are so many to choose from! Our HVAC technicians are here to help you choose the right air filter for your home. Read the article below to see which air filter will work best to get you through the upcoming seasons
What exactly is a MERV rating?
Many HVAC filters are based on a MERV rating. What does MERV stand for? The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) of a filter implies its capacity to eliminate and filter out airborne particulates and dangerous allergens that may be present in your air. This rating scale ranges from 1 to 20, with 1 being the lowest standard and 20 being the best.
MERV ratings are excellent indicators for filters because they can assist you in making an informed decision based on the type of filtration needed for your indoor air quality. The caveat is that your HVAC system has a maximum MERV rating, so replacing a filter with a higher-than-necessary MERV rating can reduce the amount of airflow into your home, explains our techs from the best air conditioning company. The highest MERV scores are reserved for facilities such as gyms or hospitals, not for residences.
HVAC Air Filters
Fiberglass Air Filters
Fiberglass filters have a MERV rating ranging from 1 to 5, meaning that they are the least effective at keeping the air filtered and clean. These disposable filters have layers of fiberglass and metal to keep them from falling. Fiberglass filters have a significant advantage in terms of affordability, which allows for widespread availability – but they don’t deliver much in terms of air purification in your home.
Pleated Media Air Filters
Pleated filters, like fiberglass filters, are disposable, but they have a MERV rating ranging from 5 to 13, depending on the efficiency level. These filters come in a wide variety of versions, enabling them to have a wide range of MERV ratings. Side note: not all pleated filters are created equal. The filter’s pleats allow for greater filtration capability. Depending on the type of pleated filter, they can be as cheap as fiberglass filters.
Reusable Air Filters
While reusable filters are more expensive than pleated or fiberglass filters, they last longer because they can be cleaned and reused again. These filters promote sustainability, but they necessitate a lot more effort to get the most out of them.
Aside from the higher price, the main disadvantage of these filters is their low MERV rank, which ranges from 1-4. This is because they are prone to mold growth if not properly washed and dried before being reintroduced into your HVAC system.
HEPA Air Filters
The best quality air filters on the market are HEPA filters, also known as “High-Efficiency Particulate Air” filters. They are a form of pleated, mechanical air filter that offers the most protection against airborne particulates. According to the US EPA, they can remove any airborne particulate as small as 0.3 microns, which is a huge deal.
HEPA filters have the highest MERV ranking, which means that any harmful particulate in your air can be filtered and trapped within their pleats. Because of their high MERV rating, HEPA filters are more expensive than the other filters listed.
If you or someone in your home deals with allergies or a weak immune system, our friends at Gilmore Heating, Air, and Plumbing, one of the Sacramento HVAC companies, recommends getting HEPA air filters.
How Often Should I Change My Home’s Air Filters?
Great question! Air filters need to be changed every few months. If you have furry friends, we recommend checking your air filter every month because hair and debris build up faster. Changing your air filters every 2-3 months will ensure quality air in your home. If you have questions about your home’s air filters or need air conditioning maintenance in the Twin Cities, MN area, or beyond, please contact McQuillan Bros. Our HVAC techs are prepared to help.