When it comes to air filters, quality matters. But how much does it really matter? It depends on your individual needs and the size of your home. A single person without pets and allergies may not need as much filtration as a family of five with three pets and a child with asthma. It's also important to consider the cost of filters and how long they will last.
To make the best decision for your home, it's wise to talk to an HVAC professional. To help you gather information and weigh your options, let's take a look at the pros and cons of each type of filter. Heating and cooling are likely to be a significant part of your utility bill, but one small thing that can make a big difference is the air filter that keeps your central air system working. A dirty filter can restrict airflow, preventing the system from working properly, and eventually leading to equipment failure. That's why it's important to change your home's air filter on a regular basis. Overall filter size can range from 10 inches by 10 inches to 30 inches by 30 inches.
Not only do filters remove dust allergens, mold spores, and other pollutants from the air your family breathes, but they also filter out fine dirt particles that can degrade the performance of the HVAC system itself. Using small cotton and paper fibers, electrostatic filters create static electricity that acts as a magnet for dust and other airborne particles. For this reason, these filters are not recommended for people who have respiratory problems. If all dimensions are the same, a filter with a higher MERV rating and more folds per inch will have the same or better airflow than the same filter with a lower MERV rating and fewer folds. The cheapest filters are made of spun fiberglass, which does very little to filter the air compared to materials such as paper, cotton or polyester.
These filters will protect your HVAC unit from dust and dirt that could damage it, while allowing air to flow freely. Even the slightest amount of moisture that remains can cause mold and mildew to form on the filter and expel them into the air you breathe. Some washable filters aren't much better, but high-end permanent filters can compete with the very common disposable pleated filters, which are available in a range, even reaching MERV 12 or higher. This is important because the concentration of air pollutants inside your home can be two to five times higher than the concentrations normally found outdoors. Finally, look for online retailers that offer discounts for setting up recurring air cleaner shipments (ours is 5%, for example). The magnetism is strong enough to prevent these particles from spreading throughout the house, making them one of the best options for those who need a filter that can combat allergens. In conclusion, when it comes to air filters, quality matters.
To make sure you get the best filter for your needs, talk to an HVAC professional and compare different types of filters before making a decision.