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What Are the Different Types of HVAC Filters?

The HVAC filters used in your home’s heating and cooling system have an important job to do. They filter dust, pollen, pet dander, and other small particles out of the air that you and your family breathe. These particles are trapped in the filter to prevent them from being recirculated throughout your home. The higher the MERV rating, the more effective the filter will be.

Filters also play an important part in keeping your system free from larger particles that could damage it. Therefore, you want to make sure that you are always using the right type of filter and change it when it is dirty. Here are the different types of filters available for residential HVAC systems.

Fiberglass Air Filters

Fiberglass air filters are disposable and the least expensive type of filter. They do cause less strain on HVAC systems when drawing in air and keep large particles out of your system. However, they do not do such a great job of keeping out dust and other smaller contaminant particles. If you or members of your family suffer from allergies or have respiratory problems, this type of filter may not be powerful enough to help relieve or prevent respiratory problems. It will typically have a MERV 4 rating.

Pleated Air Filters

Pleated air filters are made of cotton or polyester folds. They are slightly more expensive than fiberglass filters, but they are more effective with filtering dust and other small particles like pollen, mold spores, and pet dander. Those with more pleats provide better filtering and help prevent dust and other particulates from being recirculated in the air. MERV ratings for these filters typically run between 5 to 8.

HEPA Filters

If you or your family have allergies or other respiratory problems, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are recommended. While they are more expensive than fiberglass or pleated air filters, they are the most effective at screening up to 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, pet dander, viruses, bacteria, and other irritants out of the air. Look for filters that are rated MERV 11 or higher. However, please be aware that the higher the MERV, the more difficult it is for your HVAC system to pull in air. You should check with us to see what MERV is best for your system.

UV Filters

UV filters are used in air cleaners that may be built into your HVAC system. Using ultraviolet light, these filters kill viruses, bacteria, and other microorganisms in the air that passes through them. However, they are not so efficient at removing dust and other contaminants, but they are great if you have concerns over indoor air quality that an air cleaner can address.

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Not sure about which type of filter is best for your HVAC system and your family? Christian Heating & Air Conditioning can help. Contact us for more information and all your other heating and cooling concerns.

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