HVAC filters are a very important appliance in keeping your home not only comfortable but healthy. No matter whether you use your system for cooling or for heating, it is equally efficient in both cases. The higher the rating of your filter the better efficient your filter is. So, when you are out buying your filters make sure you check their rating to ensure the best for your system be it for your home or your office.
Understanding Your Different Types of HVAC Filters:
There are many different types of HVAC filters available in the markets these days. The most common of these filters are filters made from:
These filters are disposable and the least expensive. They will also not cause strain or stress on your HVAC system and help to keep the large particles away. For the smaller contaminants, they are enough, so they are not suitable for places with people with medical conditions.
Polyester or pleated filters:
They are made from polyester or cotton folds and are a bit more expensive than the fibreglass ones but at the same time, they are more effective. They help to keep the smaller contaminants at bay. The more the number of pleats the more efficient your HVAC filter is, and its rating is between 5-8.
Ultra-efficient HEPA filters:
HEPA filters mean high-efficiency particulate air filters which are recommended for people with medical conditions like allergies and asthma. They are more expensive than the first two categories of filters and have an efficiency of 99.97%. This means it can block the tiniest of contaminants and keep them away from your space. Its MERV rating is 11 or even higher.
Sometimes, these sorts of filters are built into your HVAC system. They kill germs, bacteria, and microorganisms with the help of UV light, but they cannot remove dust and other contaminants from space.
How To Choose Your HVAC Filter?
When you are out for the HVAC filter shopping, check out for a few things to determine whether that filter is suitable for your needs and purposes. Look for the dimensions in their height, depth, and weight. Apart from that, you can also check the size as suitable for your make of HVAC system. So, the easiest way would be to check the present filter that is currently being used. You can match that and get yourself a new one.
Unless you have a person living with you who has some sort of allergy or asthma, then there is no need for using a filter that has high MERV ratings. A filter rated with a range of 8-12 is enough for your system.
Role of Filters:
HVAC filters help to keep the dust, dirt, allergens, bacteria, germs, and other microorganisms away from the space that ideally is yours only. So, using them is very important. They help to keep out other contaminants like dust mite debris, pet dander, pollen, lint, mould spores, cough & sneeze, smoke, odours, and smog particles away from your homes and offices. In fact, it is highly required in the home when you have elderly people. Older people are more exposed to cardiac arrests in extremely hot or extremely cold weather.
HVAC Filter Change Frequency:
How often you should change your HVAC filter depends on a few considering factors. These factors are the quality of your air filter, number of members in your house, the quality of air indoors, number of pets in the house, whether there are people with medical disorders in your house, the size of your home and lastly the level of pollution in your locality.
But ideally, if you have installed a cheap HVAC filter, then it must be changed every month and if it is a high-end filter, it can be replaced every 3-6 months. But when it comes to cleaning your filter, it should be done every month.
The HVAC filter is only but a very small thing in your expensive HVAC system, but it plays such an important role that without them your system will simply collapse or get ruined. So, buy good quality filters with sufficient MERV rating that will serve your purpose well.