Air filters clean indoor air as it flows through the HVAC system. If you plan to replace this significant component of your air conditioner, it is important to know that there are multiple types to choose from. This guide covers four types of HVAC air filters and how to choose the right one for your Whitehall, PA home.
1. Flat-Paneled Filters
These air filters are also known as fiberglass or spun glass filters. They consist of glass strands spun together and secured with a metal grate. You can replace this type of filter with a new one as a part of regular HVAC system maintenance.
Flat-paneled air filters are affordable and common in many households. However, they don’t effectively eliminate pollutants or improve the quality of indoor air.
2. Pleated Media Filters
This type of HVAC air filter consists of a cotton or polyester fabric medium arranged in folds. They’re more expensive than the flat-paneled filters.
However, they’re more effective in getting rid of contaminants, including pet dander. Their large surface area contributes significantly to this effectiveness. Another advantage of these air filters is that they’re available in disposable and reusable versions.
3. UV Light Filters
These types of HVAC air filters work in combination with short-wave UV light to kill the viruses and bacteria in your home.
Additionally, these air filters might not effectively eliminate dust, smoke and other larger pollutants. They’re also quite costly.
4. Reusable/Washable Air Filters
You can wash these air filters and install them back into your HVAC system. They’re environmentally friendly. Furthermore, they save you money since you don’t need to replace them regularly.
The major shortcoming of reusable air filters is that they have a low MERV rating, which means that they’re ineffective in cleaning indoor air. Moreover, they can facilitate the growth of mildew if you install them before they dry completely.
How to Choose the Right Air Filters
Having adequate knowledge of the different types of air filters will help you make the right purchasing decision. When looking for the right type of air filter for your home, dimensions and performance are the primary factors to consider.
Before you choose a particular type of air filter, you should know the size that fits your HVAC system. This is because you want to select a filter that fits perfectly. Most manufacturers make this task easier by printing the size specifications of the air filter on the side.
In some cases, the filters are smaller by about half an inch of the actual size. If you’re not certain about the right measurements of your filter, our technicians can help you measure its depth, width and height.
MERV rating determines the efficiency of the air filters because it indicates how well they can eliminate contaminants from the air. The standard rating ranges from 1 to 16, with the highest numbers offering the best filtration.
If you have respiratory disease, you should select a higher-rated air filter. On the other hand, if your only concern is to live in a clean environment, a low-rated filter would be a good option.
You can also find air filters with a MERV rating above 16. The advantage of these types is that they’re very effective in purifying indoor air.
Their downside is that they’re dense and thick and can restrict the smooth flow of air in your HVAC system. These types of filters are generally used in hospital and other medical settings. Residential systems are not equipped to handle these types of filters.
In summary, choosing the right air filters can be confusing. To ensure that you make the right choice, keep the filters’ dimensions and MERV rating in mind. Call Sullivan Oil & Propane today for top-notch air conditioning installation services.
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