One of the most important parts of your home’s air-circulation system is the HVAC filter. We change them out every so often, but there might not be a whole lot of thought put into what type of filter you’re using. It’s worked so far, so why wouldn’t it work some more?
You’re not wrong. If the HVAC filter you’ve been using hasn’t given you any problems, then it makes sense to go with what you know. But did you know you’ve got a wealth of options to choose from? Each one offers pros and cons, so you’ll be able to find the one that works the best for you. Let the AC experts at Acree Plumbing, Air & Electric help you out!
What Matters is the MERV
On every type of air filter, regardless of the material it’s made out of, you’ll see a rating on the package. It’ll be a number, usually anywhere between 1 and 20, and it lets you know how effective an air filter is at screening out pollutants.
This number is called the MERV rating – or the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. It’s a simple way to understand which filters are more effective than others.
Which One Is Best?
There are a few different types of filters, each of which has a different MERV range than the others.
- Fiberglass: These are on the low end of the spectrum with a MERV range of 1-3. They use a simple fiberglass structure to screen things, but they’re incredibly cheap – for good reason. The fiberglass material wasn’t ever really designed to be effective at preventing allergens from getting in – they were invented primarily to protect an HVAC unit from being damaged from larger particles.
- Pleated: One of the most common types of air filters. Pleated filters are still inexpensive with a MERV range of 4-6, but the material that makes up the pleats is better at removing smaller materials from the air. However, not all HVAC units are necessarily going to work better with a filter that has a higher MERV rating. If your unit can’t generate the power to push through a finer screen, your AC efficiency will actually decrease!
- High-Efficiency Filters: With a MERV rating from 12-16, high-efficiency filters are used in places that need incredibly sterile and clean environments, like hospitals. Unless your home has specific health-related conditions, you likely won’t need to use one of these.
- HEPA Filters: The best of the best, HEPA filters can have a MERV rating as high as 20. These are almost certainly too finely constructed to work with a residential HVAC system, so we’d steer clear of these.
Acree Plumbing, Air & Electric: Tampa’s Air Efficiency Experts
If you’re due for a new air filter and you’re thinking about making a switch, give us a call! Our AC experts can help you pick the right one for you and your family. The next time you ask “what type of air filter should I get?” is the last time. We’ve got you covered!
Give Acree Plumbing, Air & Electric a call at 800-937-6736 to see what we can do for you!