When it comes to air filters used in your HVAC system, you know they are a crucial part of of your home comfort system. In fact, the air filter you are using can have a huge impact on your indoor air quality and whether you or someone in your family feels relief from allergies, asthma, or other respiratory-related issues.
There are some people who buy a new or better filter for their system in anticipation of it reducing the dust and dirt in their home. This can be true, but not all filters are created equal you have to be careful when choosing the proper HVAC system air filter. Each filter comes with a filtration level (MERV) and a resistance factor (the amount of air they allow through ant a specific pressure)
When looking at the various filters available, it’s important to know that the majority of pleated filters (even those that are 1” pleated) have a filtration level that’s capable of filtering out anything that can be seen with the naked eye. When it comes to dust and “floaties” in the house, the filter you have been using may already remove as much as the system is capable of removing.
If you can see the item with your eye, it means it did not travel through the HVAC system because the dust pulled through the system is now captured in the filter. The dust that is being seen is coming from other places, such as doors that are opened, walking across the carpet, a leaky window, or infiltration around unsealed recessed lights in the attic. Understand, virtually any filter you use in your HVAC system is going to catch the dust you are able to see – if it goes through the system.
Good Filters vs. Bad Filters
In the filter industry, there are filters that have high filtration ratings (MERV but they may also have higher levels of filtration with high static pressure, which is often bad for the system’s blower motor and the airflow.
What you want to look for is a balance between filtration and resistance. You want to see high filtration levels that have low static pressure and resistance. You want to find a product that’s healthy for you (with a high MERV) and that is healthy for the furnace, so it won’t cause the motor to burn up or cut the airflow in the house.
What Type of Filter Do You Need for Your Health?
If you have a health concern, you should get a higher quality filter that is rated at least MERV 13. This is the level that the particulates enter into the bloodstream. When a filter has a MERV 13 or higher, it will catch all of these particles, which are also the ones that can cause health problems. A filter that is under MERV 13 will catch dander and other things, but these won’t help improve your health.
If you aren’t sure what type of filter is right for you, work with an HVAC professional. They can evaluate the needs of your home, health, and HVAC system to help you choose the proper filter for your needs.
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