There aren’t many things that work better with a thick coating of dust. In fact, if you can think of any, I’ll be impressed! That’s why your furnace and air conditioner come with a filter: if dust gets in the system and clogs them up, well, you might be in for chilly nights or sweltering days. Changing your filter is an important part of your home HVAC maintenance, but with all the types of air filters on the market, where do you start?
One thing to do is to check what different types of air filters are made of.
- Standard fiberglass filters give you the least benefit of any air filter. They’re just made so that debris doesn’t get sucked into your air handler. They offer little air cleaning aside from that.
- Washable filters sound like a great, money-saving idea, but they’re no good in the humid central Florida climate. Instead, they create a great place for mold and bacteria to grow, unless you’re incredibly diligent about drying them well!
- Pleated filters have a large surface area for catching airborne particulates, because they’re made of filter material folded back and forth many times. These are good choices for your HVAC system.
The Minimum Efficiency Rating Value (or MERV) is a handy number: it tells you how effective a filter will be at cleaning your air. The higher the MERV, the more filtration power. But before you go looking for the maximum MERV, check your operating manual: not all air handlers can handle a heavy-duty filter!
Other Air Cleaners
If your HVAC air filter isn’t boosting your air quality enough, consider supplementing it with another air cleaner.
- Electrostatic air cleaners trap airborne particulates on metal plates. These air cleaners actually are washable!
- UV lights sterilize your air, killing bacteria, mold, and fungal spores.
- Stand-alone HEPA filters can offer you hospital-grade air cleaning… at least for the air passing through your HVAC system.
There are plenty of types of air filters and air cleaners available. To learn more about them, call us at Scott’s Heating & Air Conditioning!
Image via Shutterstock.com
By ScottsAir |
Posted in Indoor Air Quality
Tags: air cleaners, air filters, MERV ratings