Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) Ratings
Before explaining the different type of air filters, you need to learn about the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) ratings. The MERV ratings are the effectiveness of the air filters. They measure the number of particles a filter can trap as compared to the total number of particles it's trying to filter.
The Best Filter For Your Home
The best filter for your home is the one that removes the most pollutants from the air while allowing your HVAC system to perform at peak condition. Older HVAC systems, or those with leaky ducts, may need filters with lower MERV ratings.
Types of Filters
With a MERV rating between 1 and 4, fiberglass filters tend to have the lowest rating of all filters. They were originally developed to protect your heating and cooling equipment, not to improve your indoor air quality. They tend to only remove less than 10 percent of the air pollutants from your home. They are very thin and have a simple flat panel surface for trapping particle from the air.
Pleated filters tend to be very similar to fiberglass filters, however, they can remove around 45 percent of air pollutants from your home. They're comprised of folded sheets of cotton or polyester blend fabric. They're folded accordion-style so that more fabric surface can fit into a smaller area. The number of pleats per foot impacts the overall efficiency of the air filter. They're typically the most popular air filter due to their efficiency and their price range.
Disposable Electrostatic Filters
These filters typically have a MERV value of 10 or more, so they're very effective at decontaminating the air inside a home. They contain multiple layers of polyester blend materials framed by a polyester mesh. As air passes through the positively-charged outer material, the particulate matter becomes charged and is attracted to the negatively-charged inner material. It can trap all kinds of particles including mold and pollen. These filters work extremely well, however, they can be a bit on the pricey side.
These filters act very similarly to their disposable counterparts, however, they're usually framed in aluminum mesh and made of washable material. They're incredibly cost effective, as you only have to replace them every three to five years. However, it's important to wash them regularly to maximize their effectiveness. While they can have a MERV rating of 10 or more, they're not always reliable. If they're not fully dry when you replace them, they could grow mold and bacteria that is then circulated throughout your home. If you go with a reusable filter, it's important to check the MERV rating, clean it regularly and thoroughly dry it before replacing.
If you are unsure which air filter is right for your home, call Lake of the Ozarks' best heating and cooling company. Our expert technicians can help you decide which air filter is best for your home. Royal Heating & Air is happy to discuss your Lake of the Ozarks heating and cooling needs. Don't forget, now is the best time to have your HVAC system serviced. To schedule your spring service check, call 573-480-4313.