Know Your Air Filters

The air quality of your home is extremely important to the comfort of your family. When a situation with your heating and air arises, thoughts of repairing and replacing expensive HVAC equipment come to mind, but that may not be the case! A good quality air filter is the key to better breathing for your family, and compared to equipment costs, is quite affordable.Air filters are measured on a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) numerical scale. The higher the MERV number for the filter, the better quality of the air filter, therefore better quality of air. The MERV chart ranges from 1-20, and the cost of air filters tends to coincide with their quality. This being said, air filters come in a vast array of materials and price levels. The four most common kinds are:
Washable filters- These filters are typically made out of aluminum mesh and are supposed to be washed once a month. Washable filters have a very low MERV rating, around 1-4, and can possibly encourage biological growths such as bacteria, fungi, and spores.
Fiberglass air filters- These are the cheap disposable filters that you find in many discount big-brand stores. Fiberglass air filters do not do anything to improve your indoor air quality; they are designed to prevent damage to your HVAC system. They only remove 10% of pollutants in a home, and are a 2-3 on the MERV scale.
Pleated filters- These filters remove up to 45 percent of particle pollution in your home, and rate 8-13 on a MERV scale. With higher quality fibers, cotton and polyester, and pleats to create a larger surface area, these provide superior mechanical filtration.
High-efficiency air filters- Removing up to 85 percent of particulates, pollutants, and allergens, these filters rate a 14-16 on the MERV scale. They are typically very thick, and require professional installation in your HVAC ductwork.
To find out what kind of air filter is best for your HVAC system, call MTB Heating and Air. We have a free filter reminder to make sure your HVAC system is always 100 perfect.