The air filter serves as an important part of your HVAC unit by improving indoor air quality and protecting the components of your system. Changing the filter regularly will keep energy efficiency at an acceptable level. There are several types of air filters available at home improvement centers. The industry standard for measuring a filter’s capability to trap airborne particles is called the MERV or minimum efficiency reporting value. The ratings run from 1-16, the higher number being the most effective at removing all size air particles. Here are common air filter types for home HVAC systems.
- Fiberglass air filters – The thin flat panel design gives the fiberglass filter the ability to trap large particles, but small airborne pollutants are able to pass through and enter your home’s air circulation. Inexpensive and disposable, these filters have a low MERV rating of 1-4.
- Pleated and polyester filters – The folded design gives pleated filters a large area for catching both small and large air particles. This filter is also available in a model that employs carbon-infused material to remove odors and a version that incorporates anti-microbial-infused material to remove allergens. A MERV 6-12 rating is assigned to the pleated air filter.
- Washable air filters – Extensive maintenance is needed to keep the efficiency level at acceptable levels. The filter must be thoroughly washed and dried before re-installing into the HVAC unit to avoid fungus from forming on the filter material. Keeping an extra filter on hand to replace the original during this process is helpful. The MERV rating is 1-4 for washable filters.
- High-efficiency filters – A dense filter material gives this filter superior capability to catch airborne particles. Unfortunately, airflow through the system may be reduced by high-efficiency filters. Modifications may be needed to install this type of filter. The MERV rating is from 13-16. Homeowners who use a filter with ratings this high may have air quality concerns.
Please contact Aladdin Heating & Cooling with any air filter or home comfort concerns. We have been proudly serving the Southeast Michigan, Detroit Metro 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 air filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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