How to Choose the Right Air Filter for Maximum Efficiency

Air filters are the central part of the HVAC system, and the right filter can make all the difference. Your air filter ensures that your home is at the right temperature and that dander, dust, and other pollutants are trapped. Hence, you breathe in clean air. 

Nonetheless, most importantly, they keep your HVAC in working order. We’ve listed what you need to know. So, you choose the right air filter.

Air Filters Function

Air filters for your home come in various sizes to fit all HVACs. Their primary function is to trap and remove particles from the air. They are either made of fiberglass or pleated to catch the pollutants. Pollutants include mold, dust, dirt, dander, fur, etc. The air is sucked into the HVAC system, and the filter traps all the contaminants and distributes clean air.


The air that circulates throughout your home passes through your filter. If you wait too long, you can cause significant damage to your HVAC system. This is because the fans have to work harder to reach the desired temperature as the contaminants are built up in the air duct, which makes your energy bills cost more. Moreover, the particles still circulate in the air. 

Depending on how many animals, allergies, or asthmatics you live with will dictate how often they are replaced. However, it should be every 30-90 days. 

Types of Air Filters

With many options on the market, choosing can feel rather daunting. Fiberglass filters are on the cheaper end of the market. However, they don’t pick up all the particles that pets leave behind. Additionally, replacement is every 30 days as they don’t last.

Washable filters are good for the environment as they last a few years. You will need to wash them every 30-60 days. Their only drawback is that they need to be fully dried. Therefore, you require a couple of hours without air conditioning. 

Pleated filters are one of the best on the market. HEPA filters are very effective as their fibers trap 99.97% of particles. These filters are costly but effective for respiratory issues.

MERV Rating

The Minimum Reporting Value (MERV) is a rating system to know how effectively the filter removes pollutants from the air. The higher the MERV, the more it extracts. A MERV of one to four is for window units as it picks up large contaminants. Most households opt for a MERV 8 as it picks up the most common pollutants, such as dust, lint, and dander, from one animal. A MERV of 11 can keep your HVAC running more efficiently if you have more than one furry friend. In addition, it is a good option for allergies and asthma. Opting for a MERV higher than 13 can cause issues with your HVAC as they are mostly for hospitals and inpatient care. 

Final Thoughts

By taking on the above, you can find the right filter and keep your HVAC going longer.


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