Changing your HVAC system’s air filter regularly is the single most important thing you can do to assure top performance. But air filters are not all created equal. The type you choose can have a much greater impact on your household beyond system performance. An inexpensive fiberglass filter, changed every 30 days, will provide the minimum needed to keep larger airborne particles out of your HVAC system. So what’s the difference between these filters and the higher priced filters?
The MERV Scale
Air filters are rated in the HVAC industry by the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) system from 1 to 20. The higher the MERV, the more effective the filter is at keeping ever smaller particles out of the system and from circulating in the supply air. A basic filter rated MERV 1 through 3 does little more than keep larger dust particles out of the system. As you move up the MERV scale, the density of the filters increases, and they do a better job of capturing minute particulates, including pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and bacteria. Filters rated near the top of the scale, including HEPA or high-efficiency particular air filters, are generally used only in hospital or manufacturing settings, as they are too dense for the typical residential HVAC system and would impede air flow. Filters with a higher MERV cost more, but they do a better job of removing indoor air pollutants.
Improving Air Quality
If your home tends to be dusty or you have pets that shed, using a better quality air filter will not only protect your HVAC system, but will also improve your indoor air quality. If someone in your home suffers from allergies, asthma, chronic bronchial issues, or other respiratory problems, an air filter made of cotton or polyester fibers and rated MERV 8 to 12 can help remove some of the airborne particulates that may be aggravating symptoms.
For more on choosing the right air filter, contact Aggressive Mechanical Contractors of Monmouth County. We’re known for providing our Central New Jersey customers with quality service.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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