How to Choose the Correct Air Filter for Your HVAC System

In Williamsburg, Virginia, your home’s HVAC system is the life support for the air you breathe. The effectiveness of your heating and cooling units is dependent on the quality of the air filter. Filters prevent pollen, animal dander, dust, and other airborne particulates from circulating in the air. Read on to learn more about selecting the right filter for your unit.

Why Are Air Filter Ratings Important?

Air filter labels have a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value rating (MERV). It indicates the particle counts and air resistance of air filters. Although the highest number filter removes the most dust, it’s only appropriate for systems that won’t be slowed down by the tight weave of the screen. The ratings for MERV standard 52.2 are:

  • 1-4: Used for residential and minimum light commercial uses.
  • 5-8: Appropriate for better residential performance and industrial workplaces.
  • 9-12: Provides superior residential filtration and better air filtration for industrial workplaces.
  • 13-16: Made for hospitals and commercial buildings for superior air filtering.

What are the Different Kinds of Air Filters?

Reusable filters cost more upfront but save you money in the long run. You can wash them once a month and let them air dry before reinstalling them. Meanwhile, disposable filters are convenient and less expensive.

If a household member has allergies or asthma, installing a throwaway filter is the best option because they trap more allergens. Disposable filters might also be a better idea. You don’t have to worry about making sure they dry out thoroughly before installing a clean one.

Choose an Air Filter Specific for HVAC Units

Every manufacturer specifies the air filter size that’s required to fit your unit to keep it running safely and efficiently. A HEPA filter wouldn’t be suitable for HVAC systems because its fine mesh construction will restrict airflow in your home.

We can help if you’d like to improve and maintain your home’s indoor air quality, call Lighthouse Mechanical Heating and Cooling at 757-251-0579.

Image provided by iStock

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