Quick Tips on the Types of HVAC Air Filters
Hopefully you know enough about your home furnace and HVAC system to know that you need to regularly change the air filters. When you head to the store to purchase a filter you're faced with a large wall of a variety options. In order to pick the best one for your needs here is an overview of the different types of filters.
What is the filter rating system?
One of the first things you will see on the filter is a rating system. Different companies have different rating and number systems. The numbers typically tell you the amount of particles and pollutants that can be captured in the filter. The higher the number the larger the amount of particles the particular filter will collect.
Minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV)
The MERV rating has been established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-conditioning engineers. It rates the filter’s ability to capture and hold particles and pollutants. For residential filters the numbers range from 1 to 12. With the higher number referring to the higher amount of particles collected.
Microparticle Performance Rating (MPR)
This system has been developed by the 3M Company and is solely used in 3M products. The amount of microparticles that the filter captures is what determines the rating. The numbers range from 300 to 2800 with the higher number meaning more particles captured.
This system utilizes the color code and a number scale ranging from 4 to 10 which is similar to the MERV rating. The FPR system has been developed and is only used by The Home Depot.
What are the three basic types of filters available?
Washable air filter
At first the washable filter may seem like a budget friendly and environmentally friendly option, however they are not highly recommended. Washable filters have very low ratings and do not trap as many particles as they're disposable counterparts. They require regular maintenance via washing and must be thoroughly dried prior to reusing so as not to spread mold into your home. Washable filters are not recommended for homes that have anybody with allergies in them.
Fiberglass air filter
Fiberglass filters are the least expensive option. They do have the ability to track a larger air particles however do not capture smaller allergens and pollutants very well. The MERV rating is typically only between one and four. If you have a fiberglass air filter the air quality in your home will not be improved. They also tend to need replacement more often.
Polyester and pleated air filters
These are the most commonly use filters and the most recommended. There are MERV rating is from 8 to 13 which is much higher than washable and fiberglass filters. Polyester and pleated filters are highly effective in trapping and holding a variety of particles pollutants and allergens from your home. These types of filters are available in most stores and come in a variety of options that can help even the most severe allergy sufferer.
Keep this guide in mind the next time you head to the store for a filter replacement. Purchasing the proper filter for you and your family will make all the difference in the air-quality in your home. If you have any questions about air-quality or filters for your specific HVAC system call the experts at Air Expo for all of your maintenance needs.
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