Choosing an Air Filter

Homeowners often have a difficult time determining not only the size of their furnace filters, but they also have to decide which kind of filter to use when replacing an old one. Looking at the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) can help homeowners to decide which one is best. Those with a lower MERV rating are less efficient while those with a higher MERV rating are more efficient.

Fiberglass Air Filters

These are very basic filters that just trap air particles on a thin, flat surface. They were designed to protect the HVAC unit, not to improve air quality in the home. They’re very inexpensive, but only remove 10 percent of the air pollutants. They generally have a MERV rating between 1 and 4.

Polyester and Pleated Air Filters

Polyester and pleated air filters are better at trapping dust and air pollutants than fiberglass filters. They remove up to 45 percent of the air pollutants in homes. At an average price of around ten dollars, they have a MERV rating between 8 and 13.

Washable Air Filters

The washable air filters can require extensive maintenance and easily collect fungus and bacteria. With a MERV rating between 1 and 4, they aren’t a very practical choice.

High-Efficiency Air Filters

High-efficiency furnace filters are generally made from pleated filter paper or synthetic polyester fibers. They can trap very small particles of dust, pollen, mold, and other irritants. They have the ability to remove up to 85 percent of the air pollutants in a home or building. Their MERV rating is between 14 and 16.

Ideally, when choosing an air filter for the home, homeowners should choose one that has the least effect on airflow, but still removes the greatest number of contaminants. Filters with a MERV rating between 9 and 12 are a good choice for homeowners who are concerned about dust control.

Diamond Heating and Cooling can help homeowners decide which filter will work best with their furnace system. Also ask about the Micro Power Guard Air Cleaner for those who have allergies and are looking to decrease the possibility of asthma attacks in their home.


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