Does your home seem excessively dusty? When you change your air filter, is it clogged with dust and allergens? There are many things you can do to help reduce the dust in your home, starting with choosing the proper air filter. Here are a few tips to help you choose the best air filter for your home.
Understand MERV Ratings
When you shop for air filters, do you always buy the cheapest ones? Or do you automatically go for the one with the highest rating? You might be surprised to learn that neither of these strategies are the best option. Each air filter is rated for effectiveness with a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating using a scale of 1 to 16. The lower end of the scale means the filter is less effective at removing pollutants and dust from your indoor air while the upper end indicates high efficiency.
However, the highest efficiency filter may not be the best option for your heating and cooling system. Most homeowners find that filters with a rating between 9 and 12 works best for them.
Types of Air Filters
There are many types of air filters you can choose from, each with different ratings and providing unique benefits. Here are the most common types of air filters available:
Fiberglass Air Filters
These air filters are the cheapest, and you get what you pay for. They are made from a thin, flat panel surface that only catches about 10 percent of the pollutants in your air. Fiberglass air filters typically cost about $1 and need to be replaced frequently. Their MERV ratings is generally between 1 and 4. However, this is a decent option for renters.
Pleated Air Filters
Similar to fiberglass filters, pleated or polyester air filters trap up to 45 percent of air pollutants in your home. They typically cost about $10 each and have MERV ratings from 10 to 13. An important factor to keep in mind when purchasing a pleated filter is the number of pleats per foot. The more pleats per foot, the better!
High Efficiency Air Filters
These air filters typically cost upwards of $20 a piece and have MERV ratings of 14 to 16. However, check your HVAC manufacturer’s recommendations for air filters before purchasing one of these filters. Because these filters are so fine, they can restrict airflow and actually overwork your HVAC system.
If you have more questions about maintaining your air conditioner or finding the best air filter for your home, call Arnold Service Co. at (910) 425-3350. We provide air conditioning and heating repairs in Fayetteville, NC.