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Your Complete Guide To Air Filters

We talk a lot about the importance of clean, healthy air, and we back that up with quality services and products. The first step to achieving clean air inside your home is a quality air filter. Air filters are a vital part of your HVAC unit's efficiency, and essential for obtaining a high level of clean, fresh air. We will cover all of the different kinds of air filters available to you and how they are graded on effectiveness. Hopefully, we will help you find one that is a good fit for your needs.

Before we start, we want to remind everyone that the most important thing about an air filter is that you rotate new ones in frequently. No matter how good your air filter is, it will lose its effectiveness after a short time. By rotating out your air filters, you can instantly increase the level of clean air in your home.

Air Filter Ratings

When purchasing a new air filter, it is important you pay attention to the MERV rating. It’s a number that ranges between 1 and 20, and it indicates how effect the filter is. The higher the MERV rating, the more effective, though it isn't this simple.

The thickness of the air filter is typically what determines how effective the air filter is; the thicker the air filter, the more pollutants it will catch. Air has to pass through the filter as well, so if the filter is thicker,  it will be harder for the air to pass through. The relationship between clean air and airflow is give and take, so consider what is most important to you when purchasing an air filter!

Fiberglass

Fiberglass air filters are the most common air filters in the market. They have a MERV rating between 1 and 4, so they do little to restrict airflow, though still remove 10% of pollutants in the home. If you don’t suffer from seasonal allergies, don’t have a pet, or if you live in an area that doesn’t have a lot of plant life, this could be the best option for you. The best part is that they are incredibly affordable.

Polyester

Polyester filters are an upgrade to fiberglass, but not by much. They hold a higher MERV rating of 8-13, meaning they catch more air pollutants and restrict more airflow. That said, they don’t reduce airflow by a lot, so if you suffer from more severe allergy symptoms, this could be the perfect match for you. Polyester filters typically cost between $8 and $15, but remove about 40% of all air pollutants, making them well worth the higher cost.

Washable

Washable air filters are also known as reusable air filters. They are perfect for homeowners looking to make a single purchase that is cost-effective. A one-time purchase of $20 can take care of your air filter needs for five to ten years. That said, you have to clean the air filter frequently. It will become clogged with dust, dirt, and air pollutants often. You must also make sure that your filter is dry after it has been washed, because a wet filter could lead to mold. They don’t have high MERV ratings, so they’re typically the perfect option for cost-conscious HVAC owners who don’t suffer from allergies.

High-Efficiency Filters

These filters are the best in the industry when it comes to keeping your air clean. You typically won’t find them in residential spaces because they restrict air flow a great deal. These air filters are so good at removing air pollutants that hospitals use them to clean their air. It’s no surprise these air filters have a MERV rating of 16 or higher.

Unless your health requires very clean air, you probably don’t need this air filter in your home.

Bonus: Natural Air Filters

There are different plants you can keep indoors that naturally filter out different air pollutants and chemicals. These plants are both aesthetically pleasing and effective towards cleaning your air; there’s really no downside.

At Lee’s, we are dedicated to Acadiana’s home comfort and indoor air quality. Nothing makes us happier than knowing you’re not only comfortable inside your home, but also breathing clean air. If you have any questions about what air filter will meet your needs, we’re ready, willing and able to answer any question you may have!

 

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