What To Look For When You Buy HVAC Filters

The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers conducted a study in 2009. The study revealed that dirty air filters can lower the efficiency of an HVAC system by more than 10 percent. Dirty filters also make an HVAC system work harder than it should. Over time, this damages the motor and causes the system to fail. Air filters also affect indoor air quality. If a filter is dirty, the indoor air will be dirty as well. Operating an HVAC unit with a dirty filter will load your indoor air with dust, dirt and other allergens.

What’s The Right Filter For My System?

When you buy HVAC air filters, always look for the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). This is a measure of how effective and efficient a filter will be. The higher the value, the more effective and efficient the filter.

Fiberglass Filters

With ratings between 1 and 4, these thin, flat panels trap only the largest airborne particles. They will protect your HVAC system, but they won’t improve your indoor air quality.

Polyester Air Filters/Pleated Air Filters

These filters remove up to 45 percent of indoor air pollutants and have ratings between 8 and 13.

Washable Filters

These filters can be expensive and may have ratings from 1 to 16, but usually are 1 to 4. If used while still wet or damp, they can collect bacteria and fungus which is then circulated within your home.

High Efficiency Filters

With MERV ratings between 14 and 16, high efficiency filters remove up to 85 percent of contaminants from indoor air. These filters can catch even the smallest particles of mold, bacteria, dust, pollen and other pollutants. They are standard in hospitals and other environments where super-clean indoor air is required. High efficiency air filters are impractical for residential use because they can restrict airflow and damage the HVAC system. The best filters for residential use have MERV ratings between 9 and 12. These filters effectively remove contaminants without restricting the airflow.

To learn more about how HVAC filters can give you cleaner indoor air or to schedule annual AC service visit Dyess Air & Plumbing or call (843) 242-0855.

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