Puzzled About Which Air Filter to Choose?

Puzzled About Which Air Filter to Choose?

The air in your home is much dirtier than you realize. Without proper filtration, it can be dirtier even than the air outside. So in order to prevent asthma, allergies, and the spreading of disease, you need a proper air filter. But what type of filter do you choose? Which one is best for your home? Here are a few things to keep in mind:

Air filter efficiency is rated by the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) system. The MERV rating tells you how small the particles that the filter can remove may be. At the low end of the scale are filters for window A/C units, which can eliminate large particles such as pollen and dust mites. On the other end are the highest efficiency filters, designed for hospitals and laboratory clean rooms, which can remove viruses and bacteria from the air.

Most air conditioners are designed for filters with MERV ratings up to about 12, which is the high end of residential filtration. Any higher, and the air filter will be too thick to work in the unit without blocking airflow and causing damage. If you want a higher level of cleanliness in your home’s air, you’ll need a separate air filtration device.

The effectiveness of a low-efficiency air filter actually improves over time. As more dirt and debris builds up on the filter, it forms a barrier to block further contaminants. However, it takes a long time for the debris to build up to this level. Plus, once it does happen, it can impede your unit’s airflow, wasting energy and ultimately burning out the fan motor.

A high-efficiency filter, however, starts working immediately, removing a much larger percentage of allergens and contaminants from your air. It keeps your air clean and breathable, and your system running efficiently. It costs more, but it will save you money in the long-run. A high-efficiency filter can help keep your home contaminant-free, so you can breathe easier.

For more help choosing an air filter in the Monmouth County area, contact our experts at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors, Inc.

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). For more information about air filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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