If you change your furnace filter regularly, but still are not satisfied with your indoor air quality, maybe you are not using an efficient filter. All furnace filters are not made in the same way. A low quality filter can allow air pollutants to pass through and circulate through your home.
The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value or MERV is the industry standard for rating a filter’s ability to trap various air particles. The MERV scale runs from 1-20. The higher number ratings are the most efficient at trapping particles.
Here are the filter types that are available for the homeowner:
- Disposable fiberglass filters – The system components of your HVAC will be protected with this filter, but air quality will suffer. Small pollutants can pass through and enter the ductwork. The thin construction will capture large pollutants, but pollen, dust, and others will not be trapped. The MERV rating assigned this filter is 1-4.
- Disposable pleated filter – The filter surface is large because of the pleated design. Large and small particles will be captured with this design. Air quality is improved and your HVAC components are protected making this a popular choice with homeowners. Regularly changing the filter is important because the particles can buildup quickly. The MERV rating for pleated filters is a respectable 6-12.
- Washable filters – The maintenance required to keep this filter efficient makes it an unpopular choice among homeowners. A filter that is still damp when installed can cause the formation of mold. The MERV is 1-4.
- High efficiency – There are several types of high efficiency filters on the market. Dense filter material is used to trap all size air particles. The extreme nature can cause restricted airflow putting strain on the system. Homeowners with special air quality concerns can benefit from this option, but these filters will not fit all HVAC units. Extra research is needed to ensure your system is compatible. The MERV rating is 13-16.
Please contact Sherlock Heating and Air Conditioning with any concerns regarding a furnace filter. We are proudly serving San Diego and the surrounding areas.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Diego and San Marcos, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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