The air filter is one of the most important parts of your HVAC system, and it’s certainly the one you will interact with most. You should check your air filter at least once a month and change it no less than once every three months. Carefully consider your choice of air filter. The right one will improve your indoor air quality and create a cleaner, healthier home.
Understanding the MERV Rating
Minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) indicates how well an air filter performs. A filter with a high MERV rating will improve indoor air quality efficiently, while one with a low MERV rating will capture only a small percentage of the particles in the air. A rating of 4 or below provides only minimal filtration, while ratings between 5 and 8 indicate a better residential filter. An air filter with a MERV rating between 9 and 12 offers superior residential filtration for excellent indoor air quality.
Replaceable vs. Washable Filters
If you have a replaceable filter, you will throw away the entire filter when you change it. The best replaceable filters for home use are polyester and pleated air filters. Fiberglass filters have very low MERV ratings and do little to improve air quality.
Washable filters are typically considered a poor choice. You must manually wash them to remove dust, but the process can leave the filter damp, creating an ideal breeding ground for mold, mildew, and fungus. Washable filters also have low MERV ratings.
The Deal With High-Efficiency Air Filters
High-efficiency filters are those with a MERV rating of 14 or higher. While these offer excellent air quality, they’re better suited to hospital environments. It takes more energy to push air through a filter with a high MERV rating, and many home units are not equipped to handle high-efficiency air filters.
To learn more about improving indoor air quality in your southeast Michigan home, contact us at Aladdin Heating & Cooling. We have proudly serviced the area since 1945.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Warren, Michigan about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about indoor air quality and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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