Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The 411 On Air Filters

Most people know how important it is to regularly change your air filter. When it does come time to change the air filter, many homeowners often times go to the hardware store and pick whichever filter fits their return air duct. While this method tends to save time in the store, it may not be the best when it comes to choosing the right filter for your HVAC system's needs. Royal Heating & Air knows that ill-fitting, overly restrictive or inefficient filters can increase your energy bill and produce poor air quality in your home. The best HVAC company at the Lake of the Ozarks is here to explain the different types of filters and which one might be best for your home and HVAC system.

Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) Ratings

Before explaining the different type of air filters, understanding what the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) ratings mean is important. The MERV ratings are the effectiveness of each air filter. It measures 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

You may think that the filter with the highest MERV rating would be the right one to choose. The higher efficiency one would be better than the lower efficiency, right? Unfortunately, that's not always the case. High-efficiency air filters can sometimes make your HVAC system less efficient because they block too much airflow. This means the system can't heat or cool enough air to control the temperature in your home correctly, resulting in your energy bills increasing and potential damage to your furnace due to overheating.

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

Fiberglass 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 particles from the air.

Pleated Filters - 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.

Reusable Filters - These filters are very similar 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.

Royal Heating & Air Can Help Keep Your Home Comfortable

If you are unsure which air filter is right for your home, the best HVAC company at the Lake of the Ozarks can help! Our expert technicians can help you decide which air filter is best for your home. Now is a great time to schedule your spring service check, give Royal Heating & Air a call. We can help keep your home comfortable all year long.

Royal Heating & Air - "The King of Comfort"

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CALL TODAY! (573) 480-4313

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