To keep your HVAC system working properly, regular inspections and maintenance are a must. However, you also need to make sure that its air filters are right for your home’s needs. The market is overflowing with a wide range of air filters, each with its own benefits and drawbacks. AC & Refrigeration Works shares everything you need to know about HVAC air filters.
How effectively an air filter works is measured by its MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating. It indicates the filter’s ability to capture particles in the air while your HVAC system is on. MERV ratings range between 1 and 16. The higher the rating, the more effective they are.
Here are five filters available on the market:
- Fiberglass Air Filters – These filters have thin surfaces that can catch up to 20% of pollutants. Fiberglass air filters filter large particles such as dust, lint and small insects. These filters are best replaced about once a month. Fiberglass air filters usually have MERV ratings of 1 – 4.
- Electrostatic Air Filters – These filters have self-charging electrostatic cotton or paper fibers that attract air pollutants and trap them on the surface. If you have children, pets or smokers in your home, then this filter is a good choice. Electrostatic filters should usually be replaced every three months or more frequently, depending on the number of people in your household. Electrostatic air filters have MERV ratings ranging from 6 – 8.
- Pleated Air Filters – These filters are considered investments and big upgrades compared to fiberglass filters. They can capture 70 to 90 percent of air pollutants. Like the previous filter type, they are best replaced every three months. When choosing a pleated air filter, find one with a lot of pleats for greater coverage. Pleated air filters have MERV ratings of 6 – 13.
- High-Efficiency Air Filters – These are considered the most effective filters for residential HVAC systems. They can trap up to 95% of airborne particles as small as 0.3 microns. They’re a great choice for homeowners whose family members experience respiratory issues. These filters should be replaced every nine to 12 months. High-efficiency air filters have MERV ratings of 9 – 16.
- Reusable Air Filters – Unlike the other filters, these filters are not replaced. Instead, you should clean them at least once a month to avoid a buildup of dust and debris. If filters are left unattended, your HVAC system may end up not cooling or heating your home properly.
AC & Refrigeration Works provides service and repair of equipment from all major manufacturers. Count on our licensed, trained and experienced technicians to keep your HVAC system in top shape. Call us now at (956) 255-7227 or fill out our contact form to request an estimate or a service appointment.