How to Choose the Right HVAC Filter
Apart from the air conditioners and Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems, air filters are also found in the heat pumps and the furnaces. While many people may find them to be a trivial and inexpensive part of the HVAC system, the fiber-containing cardboard boxes exert a huge impact on the efficiency of the cooling and your monthly electricity bills.
The Important Functions of HVAC FiltersHVAC filters nowadays are made using the spun fiberglass materials, cloth, or pleated paper, which are assembled in a cardboard frame. The basic function of the filter is to clean the air circulating through the cooling and heating system of the unit. The filters may restrict the movement of many different kinds of particulates, pollutants, and contaminants, which deteriorate the air quality, are not good for the health and comfort of the inhabitants, and may also be a cause of allergy. Some of the undesired contaminants and substances that air filters can withhold and trap include:
Dirt and dust.
Molds and spores.
Lint and fibers.
Fur of animal and other origins.
Particles from materials including plaster, metal, or wood.
Microorganisms including bacteria and other pathogens.
Filtration of the air moving through the system often takes place when the expended air returns to the HVAC and is conditioned to be distributed again. When the pollutants are removed from the air everybody, including you as well as your family members, can breathe more easily. You can also relax as efficient air filters provide for optimum cooling and ensure that the systems are not overworked. Timely and regular replacement of the filters and their cleaning results in the long life of the air conditioning system and its parts while reducing energy bills.
Choosing the Best Quality Air Filter Based On The MERV Rating
HVAC Filters that cost more, be more efficient in cleaning the air and therefore can provide for a better quality of air. The air filters for air conditioners are often rated along with the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating system. The rating scale has filters with ratings varying between 1 to 20 and a higher rating shows a better quality of the filter.
Types of Air Filters
If you use the MERV scale, below are the different kinds of air filters available today.
Electrostatic air filters- Filters have a MERV rating between 6 to 8 belong to this category. These filters use paper fiber or electrostatic cotton. An electrostatic charge is produced when air passes through the fibers sensitive and prone to static. Hence homes with children, smokers, or pets can use these kinds of affordable filters that also come in standard sizes. The filter should be changed every 3 months for good efficiency and results.
Pleated air filters- These filters have a MERV rating between 6 to 13 and can capture up to 90% of the air pollutants having a size varying between 3 to 10 microns. Costing around $ 15, the filter should be changed every 3 months and is made using cotton or polyester. The more the pleats the filter contains, the better will be the coverage.
High-efficiency air filters (HEPA)- the HEPA filters have a MERV rating between 9 to 12. The filters can trap up to 95% of particulates (down to a size of 0.3 microns) of air. They consist of synthetic cotton, which is fixed to a metal grid. The filter is also called a UV filter and is one of the most popular and efficient filters for the residential HVAC units.
However, filters up to a MERV rating 20 are available as well. The market now has on offer certain reusable air filters also that may cost a bit more for the first purchase, but can be reused again and again after cleaning. You can contact a leading air conditioner service provider and ensure that you buy the best filter for your unit and save tons of money each year of operation.