When it comes to maintaining an HVAC system, regular filter changes top the list. However, choosing the right filter should also be a priority.
In my experience, HVAC filters are as unique as the structures they serve. With so many options available, how can you know which one will help prolong the life of your unit?
My passion for sharing knowledge and insight is one of the reasons why I started my own AC company. Although I am always available when customers need me for repairs and maintenance, I also want to help them get in front of damage and failures when possible.
Understanding the importance of AC filters and choosing the right one is paramount when it comes to system longevity.
What Does an HVAC Filter Do?
To grasp the filter’s impact, I think it’s important to first understand its purpose. It may seem obvious that HVAC filters are used to clean the, but I was surprised when I learned the many different particles a filter captures.
In addition to dust, dirt, pollen, and mold, filters catch fibers and lint, hair, animal fur, bacteria and microorganisms, they also help eliminate metal, plaster and wood particles.
By removing so many irritants from the air you breathe, filters protect the health of your family as well as your HVAC system. Knowing this, the importance of purchasing the most efficient filter becomes clearer.
Dirty and inadequate filters also cause your system to work harder, making it more likely to malfunction as it struggles to do its job. How can you be sure that you have optimal protection?
Here Are 3 Tips for Choosing the Best HVAC Filter
1. Don’t Opt for the Cheapest One
I have learned that when it comes to most things in life, you get what you pay for. The same is true for HVAC filters. Because they do such an important job, it can cost you much more in the long run if you sacrifice quality to save a few dollars.
If you find that the price tag on a box of trusted air filters is alarming, keep in mind that replacing your unit prematurely will cost thousands of dollars. And remember, you can’t put a price on you and your family’s health.
2. Familiarize Yourself With the Rating System
One of the best things you can do for your HVAC system is diligently changing the air filter on time each month. But you should also take into account the efficiency of the filter.
The MERV rating system, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, was developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Ranging from 1-16, the ratings reveal how effective an air filter is based on tests. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the pores (meaning the fewer contaminants can pass through it).
3. Speak with a Seasoned Professional
Even though higher is better when it comes to MERV ratings, every HVAC system is different. Some highly rated filters can create too much resistance for your individual setup.
Consult with a professional to determine the highest MERV that will still allow for maximum air filtration in your system.