What You Should Know Before Buying a New Air Filter

When the time comes to buy a new air filter, you'll notice a lot of different choices from many brands. Which brand should you choose – does it matter? Let's talk about picking out a high-quality filter.

Design, not brand, matters

Brand is far from the most important factor in buying home air filters. In fact, you can probably ignore brand entirely and still find perfectly suitable air filters. Why? Design is far more important. HVAC and similar filters for air conditioners or air purifiers all fall into several important design categories.

For example, fiberglass filters are cheap and thin, but they aren't very durable and don't remove many pollutants – as little as 10 percent at times. Pleated filters are made with cloth or foam in ripples and layers, but they don't fit in all HVAC units. HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters are excellent for allergies/asthma, but they are typically designed for air purifiers specifically.

Tips on picking filters

  • Match sizes: The air filter needs to fit precisely in the unit. Width is usually 1 inch for the average HVAC but height and length can vary. Check the dimensions of your current filter!
  • Look at MERV: Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV, is a quick way to look at effectiveness. The scale goes from 1-20, and the best filters for your home are generally around 8 to 13.
  • Know your HEPA: True HEPA filters get rid of 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns or smaller. They need to be replaced often, but can be helpful for those with breathing issues. Note: HEPA isn't the same as ULPA.

Need more information on picking out the right filter? Contact Ragsdale today and let us know how we can help!

Photo source: Flickr

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