If you are looking to keep your air quality high and your HVAC maintenance low, you’ll want to be an air filter pro. Your air filter plays a big part in the efficiency of your HVAC system as well as the quality of air that filters through the home, some can be replaced others just need a wash, but to fully know what’s best for you, you’ll need to know all your options:
First Know MERV
When it comes to buying a filter, you’ll want to understand what a minimum efficiency report value or MERV rating is. A MERV rating measures how efficiently the filter captures particles that might pass through it. The higher the rating, the less that can pass and the better your air quality will be. Each system is designed to handle a certain rating, so be sure to check with your HVAC system before purchasing.
Flat Paneled Fiberglass Filters
Flat paneled filters are on the lower end of the MERV rating and are made up of layers of spun glass or fiberglass.Good at capturing lint and dust but not the best option for air quality. One of the more affordable options, they should be replaced every 30 days.
If you are looking for a more heavy duty disposable option, you’ll want to look at pleated filters. With the ability to filter out tiny particles, they fall on the higher range of the MERV scale. Pleated filters also provide less airflow resistance and effectively suppress fan noise.
If you are on the forgetful side or are just too busy to keep replacing your filters, there are reusable options. The reusable filter does have a higher initial price than disposable, but they can be easily cleaned instead of regularly replaced. The only thing is your air quality suffers; reusable filters have the lowest MERV rating there is. You’ll also have to be mindful of how you are cleaning them, putting back a damp filter that isn’t fully dry can increase your chances of mold and mildew growth.