Replacing Your Air Filter: Tips about Types and Brands

Air filters can help protect your house from pollen, dander, dust and more – but what are you supposed to do when a filter needs replacing? If you're ready to switch it out but have questions, we have a few answers for you that might help you in the process.

Air filter brands: Should you worry?
Buying the right brand of filter isn't usually as important as buying the right kind. The filter needs to fit your AC unit – after that, the differences are minimal. Two things tend to be important here:

  1. The shape and size. If you look at your filter, you'll probably see it's marked with specs on length, width and height. Those are the specs that you should match when buying a new filter.
  2. The MERV rating. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, a number from 1 to 20 that shows how efficient a filter is. Find a filter with a higher MERV can help remove more particles in the air...but it may also reduce your air flow. This can cause problems, especially if these filters are not changed on a monthly basis.

Types of air filters
There are a variety of different air filters on the market, include several aftermarket options to improve your AC system or add purifiers for extra protection against allergies or asthma. Here are a few popular additions you may want to consider.

  • Synthetic mechanical filters: These are the pleated filters often seen whole house AC systems. If you want maximum efficiency, think about replacing them every few months.
  • HEPA filters: High-Efficiency Particulate Air filters have some of the very best air filtration for those suffering from asthma (this study has some more information) and other conditions.
  • Activated carbon filters: These filters excel at removing smells, smoke and gases.
  • Photocatalytic Oxidation: People worried about VOCs (volatile organic compounds) may want to use these filters, which can break VOCs down.
  • Ion or Ozone filters: With an electrostatic charge and ozone particles (plus sometimes additional filter materials) these filters attract particles onto their surfaces as air passes through. Make sure you clean those surfaces frequently!

If you aren't sure what kind of filter you need, or how to upgrade your house with a new type of air filter, ask Ragsdale for advice and we'll help you find the best solution!

Photo Source: Flickr

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