Do you change your air filters every month? If not, you should! Replacing your air filters regularly will not only increase the air quality in your home, but also help your HVAC system to run more efficiently. But with so many different options, we understand that selecting an air filter can often get confusing. Read our following guide to learn some helpful tips for choosing the right air filter for your home.
Mechanical air filters are designed to trap and prevent dust, debris, and other small particles from circulating through your home. The effectiveness of a mechanical air filter is measured in MERV ratings, or the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This industry standard rating measures the filter’s ability to trap particles ranging from 3.0 to 10.0 microns. Most residential air filters are labeled with a MERV rating between 1 and 12; the higher the rating means the more particles it can filter.
Fiberglass Air Filters
Fiberglass air filters are constructed from a fiberglass material and have a thin, flat surface. They are designed to protect your HVAC system, not to improve the air quality in your home. These filters remove less than 10% pollutants in the air and get a MERV rating between 1 and 4. Fiberglass air filters typically sell for about $1 each.
Pleated Air Filters
Pleated air filters are constructed from a polyester material and have a pleated surface to increase their efficiency. These filters can remove up to 45% of the pollutants in the air and get a MERV rating between 8 and 13. Pleated air filters typically sell for about $10 each.
High-Efficiency Air Filters
High-efficiency air filters are constructed from a synthetic polyester material that is effective in trapping particles of dust, pollen, mold, and other irritants. These filters can remove up to 85% of pollutants in the air and get a MERV rating between 14 and 16. High-efficiency air filters typically sell for about $25 each.
Which Air Filter Is Best?
While your home’s air quality is important, it is also important to choose the right filter for your furnace. Filters with high MERV ratings can restrict airflow and cause your system to malfunction. We recommend that you select a filter with a MERV rating between 9 and 12 to properly protect your HVAC system and your home. If you are unsure which filter is right for your system, consult an HVAC contractor that specializes in furnace repair in St. Paul to help determine your specific needs.