Air Filters for Home Improvement: The Ultimate Guide

Running a home requires you to keep it clean, pay the bills, and the list goes on. However, on your to-do list should be your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Air filters are an essential part of any home’s HVAC system. Air filters keep the air in your home clean and healthy to breathe. They trap dust, dirt, mould, dander, and other pollutants before they circulate through your home. To ensure your HVAC is functioning as well as it should, you must change your air filters to improve air quality.

Since Covid-19, many of us are more aware of our indoor space. Brits and Americans spend almost all their time indoors, so it’s become crucial. In this guide, we will discuss the types of air filters, the MERV rating, and the best tips.

Air filters for home improvement

Types of Air Filters

With so many air filters available on the market, HVAC filter replacement specialists at FilterKing have broken it down to explain the most common types on the market.

Fiberglass filters

These filters are made from spun glass and are readily available. They can remove large particles such as dust and dirt. However, the drawback is that they are not the most efficient at trapping smaller particles such as pet dander and allergens. In addition, replacement is essential every 30 days as they are disposable.

Washable Filters

Washable filters are more sustainable and can last for up to five years. Nonetheless, every 30-60 days, they should be washed and cleaned. While they are environmentally friendly, once you wash them, you must wait for them to dry before putting them back in your HVAC. This means that you can’t use your HVAC until they are dry.

Pleated Filters

Pleated filters are made from a combination of synthetic and cotton fibres. Their pattern can trap the particles due to their pleat-like structure. These include specks of dust and dander.

HEPA Filters

High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters are known for being very effective. Their structure is designed with a combination of fibres that can trap 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns or larger. These filters are on the more expensive side and are ideal for those with respiratory conditions.

What Is a MERV Rating

The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) measures how much dust, debris, and other pollutants are removable from the air. The rating system tells the consumer how effective the filter is. The MERV ranges from one to sixteen.

MERV 1-4

These are the most basic when it comes to air filters. They can catch larger particles such as up to 10 µm and larger. These filters are best used for window units and are not preferable for indoor spaces.

MERV 5-8

A MERV rating of 5 to 8 works well for central air conditioning in both homes and commercial buildings. These filters pick up particles ranging from 3 to 10µm. The pollutants include mould, fungal spores, lint, etc.

MERV 9-12

A MERV rating of 9 to 12 can pick up dust, pet dander, and even little specks pets carry. This filter picks up 1 to 3 µm particles and can be effective in home and commercial properties.

MERV 13-16

These filters are especially useful for those who have severe allergies or multiple pets. You can find these filters in hospitals, surgery rooms, and inpatient care. This is because they are able to capture specks as small as 0.3 to 1.0 µm.

MERV 17-20

These are on the higher end of the MERV spectrum and are in areas where they perform radioactive treatments or where there are dangerous chemicals. This is because they pick up viruses, dust, allergens, and radon as small as 0.3 µm.

Final Thoughts

Air filters are an essential component of the HVAC system. They trap the pollutants before they can circulate in your home. Changing your filters is vital. This is because you want to ensure that the contaminants are removed from the air and not continuously circulating in your home. Furthermore, for your HVAC to be working as it should and to prevent unnecessary repairs, cleaning and replacing the filters can do that.