At its core, an air filter is designed to remove impurities such as dust, pet dander, and even bacteria from the air that flows through the system. Not only does this improve the air quality inside your home, but it also safeguards your HVAC system from potential damage. Household HVAC air filters are rated based on their MERV rating, with most household filters ranging from 1 to 13 (HEPA filters have a rating of more than 13). It is important to check the MERV rating of any filter you purchase.
MERV, or Minimum Efficiency Report Value, indicates how well a filter can capture contaminants. If the MERV rating is too high, your HVAC will need to work harder to produce efficient airflow. For instance, hospitals use filters with a rating of 16, but this is not necessary for a home environment and using a filter with such a high rating will increase your energy costs. In general, any air filter will filter out particles from the air before it flows throughout the HVAC system.
The right filter will help reduce irritants and allergens in the air, but the rest of the system must also be kept clean. When it comes to the health and comfort of your family, friends, and other guests, it is wise to get the most efficient air filter you can afford. When the MERV rating of a filter is too high, then the mesh fabric starts to constrict air flow. Replacing a filter with any amount of moisture in the HVAC system creates an ideal environment for mold growth, which will then circulate in the air you breathe.
Pleated filters offer thicker filter media than fiberglass filters, but they also have a larger surface area which allows more free space for air to pass through. Your home's air filter blocks problems in the air that a ventilation system can pump from the outside. Oven filters not only prevent the system from clogging up with dust and dirt, but also clean the air in your home. Because they have less surface area, fiberglass filters need to be changed more frequently than their pleated counterparts.
If you can find a reusable filter that captures the types of contaminants you need to filter for your family, then you could pay more money upfront but ultimately save money in the long run. If the right filters are not used and changed regularly, dust, pollen and mold spores could build up in the system and ducts. The air filters you use play a vital role in ensuring that the air in your home stays safe and comfortable to breathe.The average household benefits from having a filter that is rated high enough to block problems in the air, but not so high as to cause airflow complications. While these filters can cost more initially, you don't have to buy them as often as filters that need to be changed monthly.