Choosing an air filter can be bewildering. Even if you understand the ratings, and that the various types of air filters are designed to capture different kinds of pollutants, selecting the right filter for your home can be bewildering. Here’s a short guide to get you started, but for best results, always consult with your HVAC company.
These are the inexpensive, flimsy filters, usually blue, that most people buy. They are rated only 1-4 on the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) scale, so only capture the largest airborne pollutants. That’s good enough to keep your HVAC clean but not good enough to improve indoor air quality. These filters must be changed monthly.
Polyester Pleated Filter
These filters are better quality — and cost more — than fiberglass, and can usually work effectively for up to three months to capture the smaller particles that escape the fiberglass types. Choose a filter in the mid ranges of the MERV scale, say 8 to 12. Filters with higher ratings may slow down air flow.
Electrostatic Air Filters
When we talk about electrostatic air filters, most people understand these as the type of filters that capture varying sizes of particles by means of an electrostatic charge. Studies have shown a wide range of results with these filters, but most agree, the filters have to be cleaned periodically to be effective. The particles are generally captured on a collection plate; this must be cleaned and thoroughly dried for the filter to continue to work effectively. These filters last much longer than disposable filters, so generally cost more. They will only capture airborne particulates such as dust, pollen, pet dander and dust mite particles.
Other Type of Filters
To clean gases, volatile organic compounds, odors or cigarette smoke from your air, an activated carbon filter installed in an air purifier should do the trick. There are different types of activated carbon filters, so consult with your HVAC specialist about the right kind for your home.
For more information on types of air filters, contact Detmer and Sons. We serve Dayton and the surrounding area.