HVAC 911 - Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia
30 Apr

Picking the Best HVAC Filter for your needs and Budget

When it is time to replace your air conditioning filter, you can be overwhelmed by the variety of options. If you’re unfamiliar with HVAC systems, you may want to leave it to the experts and contact HVAC 911. One of our affiliated contractors near you can take the guesswork out of the task and ensure the correct filter is used.

 Read on to learn about the different types of HVAC filters currently on the market.

What exactly does your HVAC’s air filter do?

Air filters in HVAC systems have the important job of cleaning the air before it is distributed throughout your home or business. When the correct air filter is selected, you can be confident that the air quality within your home is healthy and clean; they are a crucial part of your HVAC system.

MERV rating, what is it and is it important?

 The HVAC industry uses the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) to gauge a filter’s performance. MERV is a chart that grades filters depending on their capacity to catch particles in the air. Ratings go from 1-16, with 16 being granted to the most effective air filter designs.

The MERV value will vary according to filter quality and manufacturer, which is usually mentioned on the packaging. Yet, there are better options than the highest MERV rating.

In addition to being expensive, these filters can increase the resistance to airflow in a system. This strains your HVAC system, reducing its efficiency and possibly shortening its life span.

A MERV 8 filter is standard for most home HVAC systems. Viruses and other pollutants can be eliminated by installing the appropriate MERV 13-rated filter. This will ultimately result in cleaner air within the home. Before installing a MERV 13 filter, it’s best to check with an HVAC technician from one of the HVAC 911 partner contractors to be sure your unit can handle the higher efficiency level.

The different varieties of air filters

 In removing contaminants from your house’s air, there is a clear distinction between the various types of air filters. The materials and their design determine this capacity. Filtration is improved, for instance, by layered, densely woven fabric instead of thinner material.

All contractors affiliated with HVAC 911 will know the difference between the various filter materials and can help you select the best HVAC filter for your unit.

Air filters made of fiberglass or spun glass

Also known as flat-paneled filters, this option is made from strands of glass spun together and strengthened by a metal grating. The low cost of these filters has made them a popular option for many HVAC systems. Despite their widespread use, these filters offer nothing to improve indoor air quality.

Spun glass filters have certain benefits, including low cost. To keep lint and dust out of the house, they are adequate. Nevertheless, these filters are ineffective in cleaning the air because they miss smaller particles. Besides being readily obstructed, they also require frequent cleaning and replacement.

Pleated Filters

Polyester or cotton cloth is used in pleated filters. The material is folded into accordion folds to maximize the filter’s efficiency. As a result, filters with more pleats are superior to those with fewer.

These filters cost only a tad more than fiberglass ones. Nonetheless, they are superior in their ability to eliminate harmful substances. Even minute airborne contaminants like pollen, pet dander, and mold spores are no match for them.

It’s possible to buy pleated filters to reuse or throw away. These filters are more costly than some other options. Some pleated filters may also limit airflow. Check with your HVAC 911 contractor if your system needs more or fewer pleats.

HEPA Filters

 Regarding air filtration in HVAC systems, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are among the most effective. Dust, mildew, pollen, pet dander, viruses, smoke particles, and bacteria are just some of the airborne pollutants and allergens that may be removed by these systems, with an efficiency of up to 99.97 percent.

 Because of their excellent efficiency, those who suffer from allergies or other respiratory issues often prefer these filters. The cost of these filters is more than that of either fiberglass or pleated filters. In addition, their superior filtration capabilities might decrease the effectiveness of your HVAC system by reducing airflow. Check with your HVAC 911 affiliated contractor to see if the HEPA filter suits your home’s current system.

UV Filters

Air filters using UV light are often considered the most effective kinds of air filters. These filters let in short-wave UV light, eliminating germs, mold and viruses. As air travels through these filters, it is sterilized by the UV lamp’s germicidal rays.

While UV light filters effectively eliminate germs and viruses, they don’t work as well on smaller particles like dust, which is why you’ll typically find them integrated into filtration systems that include HEPA filters.

The use of UV light filters has several benefits, including the elimination of disease-causing microorganisms and pollutants from your house. However, they are more expensive than most other air filters.

Electrostatic Filters

These filters generate static electricity by combining cotton and paper fibers, attracting contaminants and holding them within the filter media. Electrostatic filters are great for those with allergies because they prevent allergens from spreading throughout the home. The filters can be either flat-paneled or pleated. They are also available in disposable and machine-washable forms.

While these filters do an excellent job of removing tiny particles, they can miss bigger ones, so more significant allergens like dust and mold spores can still make it through.

 Reusable Filters

Both flat-paneled and pleated varieties of washable HVAC air filters are available. They’re more expensive than disposable filters but can save you money in the long-term.

These filters may be cleaned by vacuuming or rinsing to remove dust and debris. When reinstalling the filters, checking that they are completely dry is crucial. These filters must be regularly serviced to function correctly.

While some homeowners can do this themselves, it is best to leave it to the expert contractors that are members of HVAC 911. They will be able to regularly service your reusable filters and make sure they are adequately cleaned and installed correctly.

Filters in the Media

Media filters are in a metal housing and are made of paper-like material folded into pleats. The filter is only 6 inches wide, yet the unfurled area of the pleated cloth is 75 square feet, which can make them up to seven times more efficient than ordinary air filters due to their larger surface area.

Media filters are low maintenance since they require replacement twice yearly and are very efficient. They will filter out most airborne contaminants. Ensure your current HVAC system is compatible with a media filter by having a local contractor affiliated with HVAC 911 come to your home or business and assess the situation.

In the world of HVAC filters, there are many options for today’s homeowners. The challenge is finding the right filter for your home or business that functions how you need it.

Take the guesswork out of your filter selections by getting a hold of a local contractor that is a part of HVAC 911. These contractors employ technicians who have undergone years of training, passed a drug test and are bonded and insured. Have peace of mind that the correct filter is selected for what your family needs by working with your HVAC 911 contractor.