The air filter is one of the most important components of your HVAC. It keeps your system running by protecting it from dust and debris that would otherwise harm the mechanical components. Apart from protecting your HVAC system from damage, the air filter also traps indoor pollutants like dust, pollen, and pet dander.
How to Choose the Right Air Filter
There are several types of filters to choose from, depending on your needs. If you are unsure what type of air filter you need, you can order a home inspection and get air quality checks. Read on to find out more about the different kinds of HVAC filters, their advantages, disadvantages, and how to choose one for your home.
HEPA filters, short for high-efficiency particulate air filters, are quite efficient at cleaning up the air in your home. Research shows that these filters can do away with no less than 99.97% of airborne allergens and pollutants. They can even remove mold spores and dust as little as 0.3 microns. HEPA filters have a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value or MERV rating that is sometimes as high as 16. This makes them the most efficient filters when it comes to protecting your home from air particles.
One of the most significant advantages of HEPA filters is that they are able to eliminate the smallest airborne particles, including tobacco and bacteria. This makes them perfect for those with allergies or other respiratory issues. Apart from that, HEPA filters are also fairly cost-effective as you don’t need to replace them as often as other types.
The only downside to HEPA filters is that there are some pollutants that they are quite powerless against. These include certain fumes, gasses, and odors. For this reason, you might need to combine these filters with other types so you can get maximum effectiveness.
Ultraviolet filters make use of short-wave ultraviolet light to destroy bacteria and viruses. As air passes through your HVAC system, the UV lamps in the filters disinfect it by emitting germicidal radiation. These filters are efficient when it comes to killing microorganisms that could be a threat to your health, including mold spores.
However, there is a downside to UV filters. Research shows that they can sometimes transform oxygen into ozone, and this can be dangerous to your health. Unfortunately, even the smallest amounts of ozone can result in coughing and chest pains. On the other hand, if ozone is present in large amounts, it can exacerbate symptoms of respiratory diseases like asthma. Apart from that, UV filters are also not as efficient when it comes to removing dust from the air. This is one of the reasons why these filters are used in combination with HEPA filters. Together they can be efficient at eliminating microorganisms and air particles.
This type of filter utilizes cotton and paper fibers to generate static that attracts airborne particles. The magnetism created is quite strong, and it stops contaminants from spreading throughout your home. Electrostatic filters are one of the best choices if you are looking for a filter that can remove allergens from your indoor air. One of their other advantages is that you can get reusable ones. If the filter gets clogged, you can just wash it and pop it back in, which saves your money. This makes them one of the most cost-effective options on the market.
However, there is also a downside to these filters. While they can efficiently eliminate smaller particles from the air, they tend to struggle when it comes to filtering larger ones. For instance, they are not so good for removing mold spores and dust. This makes them a not-so-ideal choice if you suffer from respiratory problems.
It’s important to understand the needs of your home and the environment it’s in so that you can choose the best air filter. Whether you are selling your home or not, it’s important to always ensure that indoor air quality is top-notch. If you are planning to put your home on the market, don’t forget to order a pre-listing real estate inspection to ensure that everything is in order. Inspections include a Heating & Air Conditioning check which might come in handy when it comes to knowing more about your home.