Dirty air filters reduce the air quality of your home. They also cause your AC system to not work properly due to increased air resistance which puts strain on the fan motor eventually leading to system failure. Also, this increased air resistance drives up your fuel consumption. It is because of these reasons that it is important to regularly replace your air filter.
Here is what you need to know about ac filter when choosing one.
Understanding MERV Rating
The term MERV refers to Minimum Efficiency Rating Value or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. It is a general standard that quantifies the quality of how an air filter blocks air particles. In general MERV ratings range from 1 to 12 for home units and most optimal working filters will range at 8 – 12 depending on the make. All you need to know, as a general principle, is that the higher the value the better the filtration.
Below is a list of commonly available options:
Disposable Fiber-Glass Air Filters
The only advantage of this option is that it is the most inexpensive option. Fiberglass filter are not a good options for your air conditioning unit since they were basically made to protect your air conditioning unit and not improve air quality. Most fibreglass options have a thin flat panel used to trap air particles. Their MERV rating ranges between 1–4.
Disposable Pleated Air Filters
This is a very popular option amongst most homeowners. It can be made from polyester or cotton paper. These are similar to fiberglass but they filter air better.
The advantage of this is that they work better compared to the fiberglass option and they are inexpensive. The disadvantage, however is that they tend to clog easily thus can add more resistance to air flow thus drives up the cost of operating your AC.
These usually have a MERV rating of 4–6.
Disposable Electrostatic Filters
Disposable electrostatic filters make use of self-charging cotton or paper fibres which use static electricity fields to trap small particles. This is a good filter option and is suitable for homes with pets, smokers or small toddlers.
It has a MERV rating of 10–12 which is pretty good. It is affordable for popular sizes However, this option can be a tad bit expensive for custom sizes. The cost is also high for regular replacement of custom sizes.
Permanent Electrostatic Filters
It applies the same principle as the disposable type.It has a MERV rating of 8–10. This option has a removable filter that is machine-washable. However, this reduces its efficiency.
Learn more about which filter option is ideal for you by talking to companies like West Air Conditioning.