Which Filter Should I Choose for My HVAC System?

December 18, 2020

When it comes to HVAC systems, there’s one component that’s at the heart of efficient operation: the air filter. Designed to protect your Greenville home’s air quality and the mechanical components in your air conditioner and furnace, air filters are quite simple, yet they have an important job to do. Therefore, it’s important to think carefully when choosing an air filter for your system to ensure that the one you select promotes the operational characteristics that you want. Using this guide from Ken Parker Service, Inc., you’ll be a filter-picking pro in no time.

Understanding MERV Ratings

To ensure that consumers have an objective method to compare various air filters, air filter manufacturers are required to assign a MERV rating to each filter they sell. MERV stands for “minimum efficiency reporting value” and serves as a measurement of the types of particles that the filter can capture. These ratings range from one to 20 with higher numbers indicating a higher filtering capacity. For most residential needs, Ken Parker Service, Inc. recommends filters with ratings ranging from five to 12.

Adequate Airflow

To create peak HVAC efficiency, it’s important that air can flow through your system with as few obstructions as possible. This is why it’s important to have Ken Parker Service, Inc. clean your ducts since dust can impede airflow and reduce your system’s efficiency. Although you shouldn’t operate your HVAC system without one, this filter does technically impede the flow of air through your system.

That’s why it’s important to balance your need for exceptional filtering with the desire to operate your system efficiently. As a starting point, you’ll want to use a filter that you can’t see through. Filters with holes that are large enough to see through won’t capture an adequate amount of dust to make them worthwhile. Beyond that, though, the filtering capacity is largely based on your personal preference and your family’s allergy sensitivities.

Bigger Isn’t Always Better

If you’re the type of person who likes to upgrade everything in your home to the maximum level possible, it’s important to hold back on these tendencies when choosing an air filter for your HVAC system. That’s because the highest MERV ratings of between 16 and 20 are typically reserved for hospital-quality filters.

Remember, the higher a filter is rated on the MERV scale, the more it impedes airflow to your HVAC system. Therefore, if you’re using a medical-grade air filter on a residential HVAC system, it could impede airflow to the point that problems occur.

However, if you still desire this level of filtration in your home, the good news is that there’s a way to make it happen. Air purifiers from Ken Parker Service, Inc. use three types of filtration: mechanical, chemical, and biological. The mechanical portion is a HEPA-type filter with an exceptionally high MERV rating.

Since these air purifiers have additional air-handling capabilities, it is safe to use an air purifier with a standard HVAC system. This allows you to have exceptionally clean air without needing to worry about overtaxing your HVAC system.

What About Other Filters?

If you have a family member with a specific allergy sensitivity, it’s important to seek out filters that have the capacity to capture these specific allergens to help your family member breathe easily. Filters with a rating of one to four are able to capture large particles such as dust mites, pollen, carpet fibers, and other similarly sized contaminants.

Move up to a MERV rating of 5 to 7, and you start to see enhanced filtering of mold spores, hair spray, furniture polish, and other common irritants. Finally, filters rated from 8 to 13 have varying capabilities to capture lead dust, flour, and some larger species of bacteria. A filter with a MERV rating of 13, for example, is rated to capture 90% or more of all particles that are larger than 1.0 microns in size.

Keeping the Filter Clean

To ensure your HVAC system’s proper operation, it’s generally recommended by Ken Parker Service, Inc. to replace your filter at least once a month. Depending on the type of filter you choose, this could become quite costly. The good news is that there are reusable filters on the market to help you save some cash. All you have to do is remove the filter, rinse it off, and then place it back in its slot. This process ensures that you have the filtering capacity you need without spending a lot of money or contributing to full landfills.

Filter Assistance and Much More

At Ken Parker Service, Inc., we can help you take care of basic maintenance for your furnace and air conditioner, plus assist with more complicated repairs, installation, and more. We can also install ductless mini-split systems, indoor air quality equipment, thermostats, and other home comfort equipment. With experience stretching more than 40 years, you can be sure that everything we do will be done with excellence. That’s one reason why we consistently receive five-star reviews from our customers. For more information about choosing the right air filter for your home, contact us at Ken Parker Service, Inc. today.

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