Filters come in a variety of types, sizes, and qualities, making choosing
the right one somewhat of a hassle. And if any member of your family suffers
from allergies, choosing the right filter is of the utmost importance.
In this guide, you will learn how to navigate the filter section of your
local home improvement store with ease, knowledge, and confidence. Armed
with the information you need to determine the size, filter type, and
necessary features to accommodate your needs, you will have no trouble
finding the perfect filter. Our
Arlington HVAC company explains everything!
Every home is different, but air contaminants in the average home include
dust, pollen, dust mites, pet dander, bacteria, and sometimes mold. The
problem with these common contaminants is that they slip through many
standard HVAC filters and
air ducts, which are only designed to filter superficial contaminants like dust
and lint. Microscopic allergens and virus carriers can also pass through
Filter Performance Rating
To remove the contaminants mentioned above, you must pay careful attention
to each filter's performance rating. HVAC filters are rated using
a unit of measurement called the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV).
Although this term sounds complicated, it's actually quite simple
to understand. The MERV scale runs from one to 16, with filters on the
lower end removing fewer contaminants, and filters on the higher end removing
most or all contaminants. The most common filters fall between one and
four on the MERV scale, and they do very little to reduce air contaminants.
Stepping up to a filter rated between five and eight provides a notable
improvement, but some allergens and contaminants, such as the ones that
trigger asthma attacks, can still pass through. Filters rated between
nine and 12 on the MERV scale are considered by informed consumers and
professionals to be the best compromise between value and quality. When
changed every three months, as any type of filter should be, these filters
will remove a very high percentage of air contaminants.
The group of filters that span the ratings of 13 through 16 are the absolute
most effective available, and they are known as high-efficiency particulate
absorption filters (HEPA). However, the exorbitant cost and difficulty
of installation associated with these filters make them a less convenient
choice for the average homeowner.
Sizing, Disposability, and Sturdiness
Take care to correctly size your replacement filters. Sizes can vary as
little as an inch, and choosing a filter that is too small will allow
unfiltered air to pass into your system, lowering air quality and risking
mechanical malfunctions. Depending on their materials and manufacturing
process, some filters may be able to be cleaned and reused. After determining
the level of filtration efficiency you desire, investigate to see if any
reusable filters fit your needs.
Lastly, pay close attention to the sturdiness of the construction of the
filter you choose. Flimsy construction may lead to bends and deterioration,
which will lower the filter’s effectiveness.
Striving to elevate the quality of your home's air will benefit every
member of your family, while also improving the comfort of your living
space. The next time your filter is due for a replacement, reference these
tips to make the best choice for your home.
Contact Tom's Mechanical to scheudle a service!