Air in, Air Out: Picking the Right Air Filter for Your Home

Deciding on an air filter to use for your home is an important thing to think about if you have an HVAC system, or if you are planning on getting one. The importance of air filters comes in many forms, like your health and your families health. Unfortunately, not many people know enough about air filters, and what to look for.

Thankfully for you, that is why you are here. These tips will help you decide on the right air filter for your needs. These filters come in many different shapes, sizes, functions, and ratings. The purpose of using these criteria is to determine the effectiveness of the filters, and how they help protect your homes air.

Without further ado, check out how to find the right filter for your home.

MERV Rating

MERV Rating

One of the first things you should know is the MERV rating. MERV stands for “minimum efficiency reporting value,” and is used to determine the effectiveness, or strength, of the filtration capabilities. These ratings can range from 1 to all the way to 20, depending on the type of filter and space it is being used in. While it might seem hard understanding MERV ratings, the expert information you can find online highlights how residential filters can be easily sorted by these rating systems.

Home use filters range dramatically for needs like allergy protection, and things like cost increase when it comes to higher rated efficiency (10 – 20 MERV rating). The rating of your filter is a big indicator for what needs you have, and there is a filter suited for nearly any air quality that you desire in your home.

Filter Size

The size of your filter is something to consider as well. Residential HVAC systems are usually fairly industry standard, with 1 inch thick filters, but this is not the norm. Some companies might have different sized filters, either thicker or thinner. Likewise, the dimensions of the filter is something to consider as well. Having a properly fitted, and properly capable filter, can depend upon the size.

The right air filter for your home should be designed specifically to fit well and keep any unwanted particles out. Custom sized filters are also available, allowing for a degree of freedom that some manufacturer stock filters do not offer. Having the ability to measure a particular space or unit, and create a filter that fits perfectly is something that may be attractive to you, and for your home.

Filter Materials

As mentioned earlier, there are different filter materials that do different jobs. Most filters function with cloth material, and they do a good job keeping out dust, pollutants, and other airborne material. There are smaller particles, like bacteria, that can slip through these filters because they do not have tight enough filter material. UV filters harness the power of light to help remove microorganism and other microscopic material that is unseen to the naked eye.

There are fiberglass filters as well, which are cheap and help keep large debris out. Things like dust, lint, and pet dander are easily trapped, and the filter allows for sufficient airflow. Another material is an electromagnetic filter, that uses the power of electromagnetism, to collect dust. As you can see, there are a lot of materials and filter types to choose from, but it is also important to know that the MERV ratings and size of these filters vary.

Comparing Reusability

Comparing Reusability

A lot of filters are intended to be replaced every month or so, and these filters are very cheap, but it might be something that you do not feel as comfortable with. Keeping wastes down is something your family and household takes good pride in, which is why there are options for reusable filters. These filters can be dusted off and hand cleaned to remove debris, or they come in washable models.

It is good to remember that keeping your filters clean allows for better airflow in the home, which might be an issue you notice. Likewise, washable filters should be dried completely so mold and mildew do not grow, and cause health issues. Whether you want disposable or reusable filters, there is something for everyone.

Picking the right air filter for your home is an important way to keep your family safe from air pollutants and particles. These harmful (and hidden) materials are easily stopped with the use of the proper filter. Knowing the MERV rating system, filter sizes, materials, and durability of a filter is achievable with this information, and you can start deciding on the right filter for your home’s needs.

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