The air filter in your HVAC system is crucial for keeping it running optimally. While you may know how important it is to change your air conditioner filter on a regular basis, you may not know everything there is to picking the right air filter. Here is a guide to help you find the perfect air filter that will work best with your system and your lifestyle.
What Size Air Filter Do I Need?
The size of air filter you will need will be determined by the manufacturer’s guidelines. If you have a filter that is too large, it will not fit correctly and could cause airflow restrictions. Choosing one that is too small will prevent it from trapping air pollutants properly. Having the right size filter for your heating and air conditioning system is critical to ensure that your system runs properly.
How to Choose an Air Filter
The air filter type you choose will largely have to do with your system type and how you wish to maintain it.
Types of Air Filters:
- One of the most common types of filters is fiberglass filters that are thin and flat. They’re extremely cheap, but they aren’t as good at trapping pollutants.
- Pleated filters are made from polyester material and are pleated so that they can more easily trap small pollutants. They are still relatively inexpensive and can be disposed of after use.
- A final option is washable filters, which can be a good option for those who prefer not to produce excess waste. Instead of throwing them out when you change them, you will need to clean them and reuse them.
What MERV Rating Do I Need?
Your Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating will indicate the size of particles that the filter will trap. Typically you will find residential ratings to be between 1 and 12. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the pollutants it will prevent from getting through. Most residential filters will trap particles between 3.0 and 10.0 microns.