Why Filtration Matters
The first step to improving indoor air quality starts with filtration. An efficient filtration unit in your home will provide the primary defense for both the HVAC equipment and the occupants of your building. Air filters are also vital to keep schools and offices safe and healthy.
To achieve exceptional IAQ and reduce your HVAC’s system energy costs, it’s important you take the time to understand how critical it is to choose the best filter for your home and maintenance.
Filtration is key to improving your indoor air quality. It’s also one of the easiest ways to improve the air you breathe. The thing is, healthy home air filters are often an afterthought for homeowners.
Understand Filtration Performance
To better understand filtration performance – we need to break it down into 2 efficiencies – dust collection and airflow resistance. MERV ratings need to be mentioned first.
To put it simply – The higher the MERV rating, the more effective the filter is at trapping smaller particles.
Dust Collection Efficiency
Determines how well an air filter can trap airborne particles when air passes through it. Not all air filters were created equal. In fact, there are currently 20 MERV ratings for air filters.
The airflow resistance is a measure of your filter’s energy efficiency costs. The higher the MERV rating, the higher the airflow resistance, the more energy your HVAC system fan has to expend to blow air through the filter.
What Air Filter Should You Choose?
If you go to any home and garden store, or do a quick online search for air filters – you’ll quickly find there are many options to choose from. How do you know which one is the best for your needs?
We have strong opinions on the subject – but ultimately, it’s your decision. Whatever you decide – pay close attention to choosing the right size, secure installation, the type, and lastly, the MERV rating. And of course, you should always make sure that you’re working with a professional air filter home contractor or installer.
Size / Install
You’ll want to make sure you get the right-sized air filter and that it’s properly installed to avoid bypass air. Bypass air is when air flows through the system without being filtered. It occurs when:
- the filter is not the right size
- there are flaws in the gaskets
- the filter is improperly installed
Panel filters have existed since the birth of home filtration. These filters are commonly referred to as “throw-aways” because they are replaced every 1-2 months, and at best, they do a mediocre job of filtering the air.
Pleated filters are newer and efficiency-focused. They tend to last much longer and work harder to keep your HVAC system working. They are usually thicker and have a higher capacity to filter smaller particles of air without a significant increase in airflow resistance.
Without going into too much detail, MERV 8 is the absolute minimum you should get for you home.
Recent studies have shown that MERV 13 is the ideal filter for homes and businesses. In fact, businesses that plan to reopen after this new normal must have MERV 13. Why shouldn’t your home have the same filtration? Spoiler Alert – It can.