Since the summer months have begun, you are most likely using your air conditioner more and more. With the steady use of air conditioners, air filters should be routinely changed and properly maintained to ensure your air conditioning system works to the best of its ability. Ambient Heating & Air Conditioning is here to talk about four types of air filters available to you and the differences between them. The four types are washable, fiberglass, pleated polyester and HEPA filters.
Ratings for Air Filters?
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) have designed a way to rate the efficiency of air filters depending on their ability to improve air quality. They call this system minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV). MERV rates air filters on a scale from 1 to 16 depending on the efficiency of the air filter. The lower the number, the less efficient the air filter. This rates the air filter’s ability to remove large and small particles from the air.
Washable Air Filters
Washable filters are not recommended for use in a home air conditioning unit. This may seem like a good choice since this type of filter is reusable. It may save you some money, but it will end up costing you in the long run. This type of filter isn’t recommended simply because it isn’t very effective in removing particles from the air. It is common for this filter to develop bacteria and mold growth which is a health risk. This type of filter receives a MERV score of 1 to 4.
Fiberglass Air Filters
This is a very cheap option when it comes to cost. However, they have to be changed frequently. While they keep large particles from damaging your unit, they don’t improve the air quality in your home at all. They are not a wise choice if you have anyone in your home who suffers from allergies or asthma since they do nothing to improve air quality. On the MERV scale, they rate from 1 to 4.
Pleated Polyester Air Filters
This is the most common type of air filter used in residential homes. Their MERV rating is between 8 and 13 which makes them a great option. This air filter does a much better job at removing particles from your air than the other two filters mentioned above. It removes about 45% of the pollutants found in the air in your home and still allows good air flow into your unit. They are an affordable filter that do a great job of improving air quality in your home.
High Efficiency Particulate Arresting (HEPA) Air Filter
This type of filter is often used in settings such as hospitals and other places that require a sterile environment. They filter the air with remarkable efficiency. They remove 85% of pollutants found in the air, making it the most efficient air filter on the market. While this air filter gets a MERV rating between 14 and 16, it isn’t necessarily a good filter for your needs at home. They have the ability to remove a high amount of pollutants in the air, but they also restrict air flow to the unit and are really made for a more industrial rather than residential setting.
HVAC Services in Springfield, Granby, Holyoke, South Hadley, Monson & Agawam Massachusetts
Make sure you are checking your air filters regularly to avoid any damage to your air conditioning unit. It is at times helpful to write the date that you replaced the filter somewhere on the filter when you install it to help you remember how long that filter has been there. Depending on the needs of your family such as allergies, pets and other circumstances, you may need to replace the filter more often the more you use your unit. Ambient Heating & Air Conditioning can help you learn how to keep your air conditioning system running to the best of its ability this summer.