What Factors Should Be Considered When Choosing an Air Filter?
You may not give too much thought to the quality of the air that you and your loved ones breathe while you are indoors. After all, it should certainly be similar to the quality of the air you breathe while you are outdoors, or is it? The reality is that indoor air tends to be more contaminated than that you can breathe while you are outside. This means that you may be exposed to many more pollutants on any day you spend at home than when you carry out your activities in the fresh air. This is why FilterKing – air filter manufacturer recommends you take the time to understand the different factors that an air filter contains before deciding which one is the most appropriate for you, your loved ones, and your HVAC equipment. Let’s see what these are.
Selecting the Right Size
It may be obvious to you that, since there are so many different filter sizes out there, it is essential to buy one that fits your equipment perfectly. However, in many cases, there is not enough information for you to make the right decision. If you have just purchased new equipment, it may have come with one or more filters and you may easily verify the size on the side of them. If you have an old filter where the numbers are no longer visible, you can figure out the size with the help of a tape measure. Do not attempt to buy one by following your instincts or just because it looks like it might fit.
If you measure the filter, write down the measurements this way: first its length, then its width, and finally its thickness or depth. Here are some of the most common AC filter sizes so make sure your measurements coincide with one of them or measure again.
- 10 x 20 x 1
- 14 x 20 x 1
- 16 x 24 x 1
- 18 x 30 x 1
- 20 x 20 x 1
- 16 x 25 x 1
- 20 x 25 x 1
- 20 x 25 x 4
- 16 x 20 x 1
- 16 x 25 x 4
- 20 x 30 x 1
- 12 x 12 x 1
- 14 x 14 x 1
Designs for Allergy Relief
If you or anyone in your household suffers from allergies or any other respiratory condition, it becomes essential to have the purest air in the home. By achieving this, you can greatly improve the quality of life of those you share the home with.
There are many different filter options when it comes to removing impurities from the air. Here are some pointers before you go shopping for a filter that helps with allergies and respiratory issues.
Traditional Fiberglass Filters
These filters are affordable and do a good job of not restricting the airflow in your HVAC equipment as much as many other filters can. However, they may fall short when it comes to trapping allergens. Yet, if your allergies are not too severe, they may work and require a small investment.
Pleated Fiberglass Filters
Pleated filters have a larger surface area and are able to get rid of up to 45% of pollutants within the home. They filter pet dander, dust mites, and pollen, among other allergens. You may want to choose an electrostatic filter that has electrically charged materials that work to attract more particles. However, they may be more expensive and may affect the airflow into your HVAC system, making it work harder. A good idea might be to purchase a single one and try it out. You may find that it gives you the allergy relief you need.
High-efficiency particulate air filters, or HEPA filters, are great at removing almost 100% of contaminants in the air. Unfortunately, they are so thick that they will call for an extra fan to push the air through the system. If you decide to get HEPA filters, they will have to be incorporated into a filtration system that will cover the entire house. This way you can be sure that particles smaller than .1 microns in size will be caught in the filter. Despite their higher cost, the result in air quality for allergy sufferers is immeasurable.
Resistance to Airflow
Air filters are classified according to their MERV ratings. MERV or minimum efficiency reporting value is an industry standard that measures how effective a filter is. Filters with a higher MERV rating will have finer filtration, allowing fewer airborne dust particles and contaminants to pass through them. The MERV ratings go from 1 to 20.
When it comes to resistance to airflow, the higher a filter’s MERV rating is, the greater the airflow resistance will be. When a filter has a high air resistance, less air will pass through the HVAC fan. Although you do want a filter that holds on to as many particles as possible so that you can have clean air, you do not want a MERV rating that will impact how well your air conditioning system will function. You may be surprised to discover that many readily available air filters have MERV ratings that do not make them suitable for use in residential equipment.
To be better prepared to know what filter to buy for your home, it helps to know something about the materials they have to trap contaminants and filter air.
Filters that have carbon are the best at removing unwanted particles from the air. These may include volatile organic compounds, fumes, gasses, and odors. When properly treated, activated carbon is highly porous and can easily capture and remove the smallest particles floating in the air. This makes it one of the most reliable filter materials available today.
Fiberglass works well to capture larger pollutant particles. These filters also do a good job of capturing pet hair and dust while maintaining optimal airflow. However, they are not ideal for capturing much smaller particles.
Propylene is another dependable material when it comes to filters. It is washable and affordable. Filters made of this plastic are also known as synthetic filters and they are effective at removing a wide variety of impurities from the air, offering users adequate indoor air quality. Although they may cost more, the fact that you may wash and reuse them makes them affordable in the long run. Just make sure to let them dry fully before reinstalling them to prevent the growth of mold and mildew.
You should not base your decision as to which filter to buy simply on how much it costs. You should also look at its quality to know how long it is supposed to last and how frequently you will have to replace it. The higher the filter’s quality, the better it will work at keeping the air in your home free from impurities. You will find that some filters may have to be changed only once a year while others should be swapped out every three to six months. So, when it comes to choosing the most appropriate filter to fit your needs, add the replacement price into the mix.
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