During the summer months, you will want plenty of cool air circulating through your home and a clogged air filter will restrict air flow. Installing the best air filter for your HVAC system is a good place to start. Factors to consider when purchasing a new air filter are the type and size and the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV rating. The MERV is the industry standard for measuring how effectively an air filter removes particles from the air. The scale runs from 1-16 with filters having the higher numbers removing smaller (and more) airborne particulates.
Here are some common filter types that are available for forced-air home HVAC systems:
Air Filter Types
- Fiberglass air filters – Constructed as a box-shaped single panel, the single thin panel traps large particles, but smaller pollutants are able to enter your indoor air circulation. These filters are disposable and inexpensive. The MERV rating is a low 1-4.
- Pleated and polyester air filters – The pleated design is very effective at capturing large and small particles. A carbon-infused version is also available for the removal of odors.The anti-microbial agent infused filter is available for removing allergens. These filters typically have a high MERV 6-12 rating.
- Washable air filters – The washable filter is reusable and as a result requires extensive regular maintenance to keep the efficiency level acceptable. Fungus can collect on the filter material. Keeping a second filter on hand to replace the used filter while it completely dries out helps to limit any fungus growth. These filters are typically much less efficient than the pleated type.
- High-efficiency air filters – This type of filter uses dense filtration material and is very effective at removing airborne particulates. Unfortunately, its dense filtration media can restrict air flow. MERV 13-16 air filters are very dense. These air filters are usually installed at locations where special air quality concerns exist. You need to make sure your system can handle the added resistance of the filter and make sure the filter is sized correctly for your system’s capacity.
If you have any concerns regarding the best air filter for your HVAC unit or other home comfort issues, please contact CCAC, Inc. We have been proudly serving the “Coastal Bend.” area of South Texas since 1979. At CCAC, Inc. we are Constantly Concerned About Customers.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas 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.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock