How to Pick the Perfect Air Filter for Your Needs?

No matter what type of HVAC system you have in your home, one of its most essential components is the air filter. Air filters work to ensure good indoor air quality. With so many types of air filters on the market today, it might be tough to select one for your particular needs. However, if you take into consideration the factors below, it might make your choice easier. Here is what you should know to pick the perfect air filter for your needs!

MERV Ratings

When choosing air filters, understanding Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) ratings is essential. These ratings range from 1 to 20, which indicates a filter’s ability to capture particles of various sizes.

Regarding MERV ratings, the higher the MERV rating, the better its filtration efficiency. Higher ratings also mean they’re more expensive, but several types of filters can meet your needs if you’re on a budget. What’s important is to establish whether you need a higher level of filtration for medical conditions such as allergies or asthma or for general air quality improvement.

Generally, MERV 13 filters are great for all purposes as they can capture up to 90% of contaminants, while MERV 8 filters are the minimum standard for residential homes. If people in your household suffer from respiratory conditions or allergies, or you have pets, consider getting at least MERV 11-rated air filters.

Consider Airflow and System Compatibility

Before going out and getting a new air filter, you should ensure your HVAC system can accommodate the filter’s airflow resistance. Though air filters with a higher MERV rating are better against most air contaminants, they also restrict airflow more, which can strain your system.

Because of this, you should verify your HVAC system’s specifications or consult an HVAC professional to determine the recommended MERV rating and airflow requirements.

Check Filter Size

Filters come in various sizes, but you can’t haphazardly change your current air filters with new ones. You should measure the dimensions of your current filters or filter slot to ensure you get the correct size. If you use an improperly sized filter, you might be reducing your HVAC system’s efficiency.

Understand Your Needs

Air filters serve various purposes. Some are great against allergens, viruses, and pet dander, while others are more focused on eliminating odors. Identify your specific needs and act accordingly when selecting a new filter.

Seek Expert Advice

Some air filters last longer than others, while others are better suited to deal with specific circumstances. For example, if the occupancy rate in your household is high, you might need to replace your air filter more frequently. Because of this, you should consider the filter’s longevity and balance its efficiency with replacement frequency.

In other instances, some air filters come with additional features that might be confusing. Because of this, it’s always best to seek an HVAC professional to help you make an educated choice based on your needs.