The time is quickly approaching when you will be counting on your HVAC system to supply heat to keep your home comfortable. If the furnace is trying to send heat through a clogged air filter, the system is straining to circulate heated air into the ductwork and reach your entire home. Installing a good quality new air filter helps maintain indoor air quality and keeps your heating and cooling system operating efficiently and smoothly.
The industry standard for measuring a filter’s ability to capture particles is called the MERV or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The range runs from 1 to 20 with the highest rating being the most capable of trapping the smallest air particles. Several types of air filters are available at home improvement centers.
Types of Air Filters
- Disposable fiberglass filters – The single panel design enables this filter to catch large pollutants, but pollen, dust, and other small particles are able to pass through and enter your air circulation. However,the components of your HVAC system will be protected with the fiberglass filter. The MERV rating runs from 1 to 4.
- Disposable pleated filters – A folded design gives this type of filter a large surface for trapping air particles. Small and large pollutants are captured and prevented from affecting air quality. Regularly changing the filter is important because particles buildup quickly. A MERV rating of 6-12 is given to these filters.
- Disposable electrostatic filters – Self-charging cotton filter material attracts air pollutants. The MERV rating is respectable at 10.
- Washable filters – Time-consuming maintenance makes washable filters unpopular with homeowners. After washing, the filter must be completely dried to maintain the efficiency level. Mold may result from a damp filter.
- High-efficiency filters – A pleated design with dense filter material gives superior filtering ability, but airflow may be restricted at the same time. This can result in strain on the HVAC components. Homeowners with special air quality concerns can benefit from this extreme filter.
Please contact Comfort Systems with any concerns regarding purchasing and installing a new air filter. We have been proudly serving the Wichita area since 1996.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Wichita, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).