Air filters play a very important role in your HVAC system, but they can be easily forgotten or overlooked. Different homes also need different levels of filtration, which can make shopping for a new filter feel overwhelming. Going too long without replacing your filter, or using the wrong quality filter for your home and air filtration needs, can cause health and sanitation issues for your family.  Here’s everything you need to know about choosing the best air filter for your home.

The Purpose of Air Filters

Air filters can be made of fiberglass, cloth or pleated paper, which is usually surrounded with wire and secured in a cardboard frame. Filters are responsible for cleaning contaminants out of the air that circulates through your HVAC system. When air is taken in, it’s blown through the filter and back out through the vents, cleaning the pollutants from it. Contaminants like dust, pollen, mold spores, lint, dander, pet fur, and bacteria can all be filtered out of your indoor air with the right air filter. This helps to improve your air quality, which can be beneficial for people with asthma, allergies, and weakened immune systems.

What is a MERV Rating?

The strength and efficiency of air filters are measured with a minimum efficiency reporting value, or MERV rating. Most filters score between 1-16 on the MERV scale. The number is used to indicate how well the filter will remove pollutants from the air. MERV 1-4 are basic filters, and they cost the least. MERV 6-8 filters can remove more particles from the air and are the most common filters for residential use. MERV 9-12 filters are at the higher end, and they can filter anything that’s one micron or larger. Finally, MERV 13-16 are the highest quality standard filter and can filter out any particle that’s 0.3 microns or larger. 

Maintaining and Replacing Your Air Filter

It’s extremely important to change your filter regularly, or else your air quality can quickly decline. All the air in your home comes into contact with the filter eventually, and a dirty or clogged filter can cause airflow issues and leech pollutants into your home’s air. Your HVAC system also has to work harder when the filter is clogged, which can spike your electric bill. Check your filter every month or so with a visual inspection. If you hold the filter up to the light and can’t see through it, it’s time for a replacement.

HVAC Maintenance and Repairs with Ellis AC

Ellis AC offers quality HVAC repairs, maintenance and replacements at reasonable prices. We value great services and client satisfaction above all else, and we’re always doing everything we can to keep our clients informed and educated. Our experienced HVAC technicians work hard to help your system last as long as possible, and they’ll take the time to tell you everything you need to know about maintaining it. Call or visit our website for a free quote on our stellar HVAC services!