Air filters are a key part of your HVAC system. They capture impurities in the air that circulates through your HVAC system and typically require replacement every few months. While it is good practice to buy the same type of air filter recommended by the manufacturer, choosing a different one may offer certain benefits. In today’s post, local HVAC repair and installation company ACS Air Conditioning Systems shared a quick guide to choosing a new air filter.
MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value, and it’s the standard used for rating an air filter’s ability to capture particles from the air. MERV ratings range in value from 1 to 16; the higher the rating, the more effective the filter. It’s important to note that air filters can be too efficient for your system, in that the filter material or media may be too fine and hinder air flow. HVAC installation contractors recommend MERV ratings between 9 to 12 for home air conditioning systems. Air filters with higher ratings are generally used for bigger systems, such as in commercial spaces.
Types of Air Filters
The following are the air filter types that you can get for your HVAC system:
- Flat-paneled fiberglass filter. This low-cost option features filter material made of fiberglass in layered sheets. This type of filter typically has low MERV ratings from 6 to 8.
- Pleated media filter. This type of air filter has pleated filtering material, which increases its efficiency. It’s the most popular option because of the comparatively low cost and efficient filtration. Pleated media air filters typically have MERV ratings from 6 to 13.
- HEPA filter. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters can trap particles as small as 0.3 microns, which are smaller than bacteria, tobacco smoke and viruses. HEPA filters are typically rated 9 to 16 MERV and are recommended for systems with robust air handlers, as they could block airflow in standard home systems.
- Reusable air filter. Reusable air filters are perhaps the most eco-friendly option because they do not need to be replaced. However, the MERV ratings are typically in the same range as flat-paneled fiberglass filters — they can filter hairs and carpet fibers but not fine dust and pet dander.
Contact ACS Air Conditioning Systems for Your HVAC Needs
ACS Air Conditioning Systems is the oldest and most trusted HVAC service provider in the East Bay area. Give us a call at (925) 676-2103 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment for service.