Tips on How to Choose the Best HVAC Air Filters
It seems like fall and spring in Wilmington are busy times for seasonal home maintenance tasks, and after they’re done, it’s time to settle in and enjoy the benefits of all your hard work. But while summer and winter tasks are few, a very important task to carry out this season is to inspect your HVAC air filter, and replace it when it’s clogged with dust.
Clean HVAC air filters are essential for:
- Ensuring proper airflow for better efficiency and comfort.
- Removing harmful particles and allergens from indoor air.
- Preventing dust from entering your system and causing damage to essential components.
Choosing HVAC Air Filters
Like almost everything, air filters range widely in price and quality, and that’s why the industry developed standards like the minimum efficiency value rating, or MERV, scale. Ranging from 1 to 12 for residential air filers, the MERV rating tells you how effective a filter is at trapping a particular sized particle.
MERV 1 to 4 filters are very cheap. They trap only particles larger than 10 microns, like pollen and dust mites. They offer minimal air quality improvement and only marginally protect your system from dust.
MERV 5 to 7 filters trap particles ranging in size between 3 and 10 microns, which includes mold spores. These are medium quality filters, and are most commonly used in households.
MERV 8 to 12 filters are able to trap particles that are as small as 1 micron, like lead, humidifier dust and some bacteria. As the highest quality filters available for residential use, these filters can considerably improve indoor air quality, as well as allergy and asthma symptoms. Before upgrading your air filter, read your system’s specs to determine the highest quality filter it will accommodate.
At Sobieski Services, Inc., our goal is to help our customers in Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey learn more about energy and home comfort issues – especially HVAC and plumbing issues – so that they can save money and live in healthier, more comfortable homes.
Photo Credit: Pietro Zuco via Compfight cc