Air Filter Guide: Choose the Right Type for Your Home

types of air filtersHow do you sort out the various types of air filters to make the best choice for your home?  The air filter is among the most critical replaceable items in your HVAC system and directly impacts system performance, energy efficiency and service life. While different types of air filters are available under many brand names, the basics of home air filtration are straightforward and understandable. By considering a few variables and applying them to your specific requirements, you can narrow down the options considerably.

Filter Materials

  • Fiberglass filters often supplied with a new A/C or furnace are only efficient enough to protect system moving parts from large particles of dust or dirt. They do not remove smaller particulates that truly impact healthy indoor quality.
  • Quality pleated cotton or polyester filters available in standard sizes  can trap particulates down to microscopic size without excessive airflow restriction. These are most appropriate in home systems for the best balance between optimum filtration and maximum airflow.
  • HEPA filters offer the highest filtration efficiency, removing over 99% of airborne particulates down to 0.3 microns. In most home HVAC systems, however, the dense media in HEPA filters restricts system airflow substantially. Use of HEPA filtration in home systems requires special alterations to standard ductwork to maintain adequate airflow.

Filtration Efficiency

Filter efficiency refers to the ability of a specific filter to remove particulates from airflow. Filter efficiency is rated by the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) scale. MERV ratings run from 1 up to 16—the higher the number, the more efficient the filter. For most home applications, pleated filters with MERV ratings from 8 to 16 provide the most effective filtration, like the Lennox Pureair filtration system, removing particles as small as 1 micron including many forms of bacteria, pollen, fibers, mold spores, smoke particulates and other airborne impurities.

Filter Maintenance

As they accumulate trapped particulates, air filters become less efficient and restrict system airflow. Replace the filter monthly during cooling season and at least every other month during heating season.

When HVAC issues arise such as selecting types of air filters, Paitson Bros. has been ready with the answers since 1922.

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    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

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