Air filters act as sieves, removing various pollutants from the air. The type of filter you have will significantly affect your home’s air quality and energy efficiency. The most important consideration is the MERV rating, an industry standard that ranks how well various sizes of particles are removed. Knowing how MERV ratings operate will assist you in selecting the best kind of air filter for your requirements.
The average person breathes over 2,000 gallons of air per day, so it’s essential to protect your health by keeping harmful contaminants out. Those contaminants include dust, bacteria, allergens, and viruses. Air filters are one of the best ways to do that, but choosing the right filter for your needs is essential. Choosing the right filter is important because of the potential energy savings and cost savings they offer. Filters with higher efficiency can reduce energy costs, waste, and environmental impact. When choosing a filter, look at the MERV rating. This system helps you quickly compare air filters and choose the right one for your needs. MERV ratings measure how many particles a filter can remove from the air. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filter.
Air filters are essential for every home, especially if anyone suffers from allergies or a weak immune system. Indoor allergens can trigger symptoms like watery eyes, a runny nose, and a sore throat. Eliminating these allergens can prevent them from taking hold and causing hay fever, which can be uncomfortable.
Cheaper filters last less time than higher-quality ones, so you must replace them more often. They’re also more prone to damage from moisture and heat.
Expensive filters, on the other hand, have more surface area to filter particulate matter. They’re also usually made of fiberglass, a porous material that can trap more dirt and pollen than cardboard or paper. They’re also more resistant to moisture and heat, so they’ll last longer. They can cost more upfront but save you money in the long run when you don’t have to purchase replacement filters as frequently. They also have better MERV ratings, meaning they can capture smaller bacteria, spores, and aerosol spray particles.
Air filters are vital in ensuring that the indoor air stays clean, especially if someone in the home has respiratory complications. A higher-priced filter offers excellent protection against allergens and pollutants which can cause breathing problems. The cheapest filters typically cost only a few dollars, but they only last a month and must be more efficient to catch all contaminants. A medium-grade pleated filter can catch up to 50% of pollutants, while HEPA filters can capture even more.
Additionally, high-quality filters can reduce energy costs in a home. The heating and cooling system must work harder to keep the house at a constant temperature when a dirty filter obstructs airflow. It causes increased energy bills, which is something homeowners want to avoid.
High-quality filters can reduce energy costs by lowering heating and cooling equipment resistance. Cheaper filters, however, require more maintenance and are less effective at removing contaminants from the air. The quality of an air filter can be determined by its Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioner Engineers sets these ratings. MERV ratings range from 1 to 16. A low MERV rating will catch large dust particles but won’t capture bacteria, fine smoke particles, or viruses. A medium-rated filter will trap larger particles and can also remove some bacteria.
The best air filters are rated MERV 13 to 16 and capture everything from mold spores to dust mite debris, fine particles from sneezes, viruses, carbon dust, and other small pollutants. They’re used in hospitals and other cleanrooms to protect valuable electronics and pharmaceuticals from contamination. These filters have a pleated design that creates more surface area for the trapping of contaminants.