Although it may have a low spot on your priority list, choosing the best furnace filter for your HVAC system can make a significant difference in your energy bills, home comfort and health. Forced-air HVAC systems require filters to trap airborne particulates to prevent them from entering air handlers. Dust can harm interior components, but an adequate filter can prevent these damages.
Choosing the right filter can also improve your indoor air quality (IAQ), particularly if anyone in your home suffers from respiratory issues. Air filters for HVAC equipment carry ratings called MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value). This scale runs from 1 to 16, although higher rated filters are available for whole-house air cleaning systems.
A higher MERV rating indicates that the filter can trap smaller particles that are often associated with respiratory distress. Smaller particles like pollen, pet dander, dust mite waste, or mold spores can trigger breathing problems that a denser filter can help alleviate. Fiberglass filters commonly found in grocery and home improvement centers trap only the largest particles and provide only basic protection for your system, doing little for your IAQ.
A furnace filter will either indicate its MERV rating on the packaging, or show some indication of its efficiency with terms like good, better and best. If you want to lower airborne particulate load indoors, choosing one designated as better or best will help, as long as:
- Your system can handle the density of the filter. Higher rated filters may slow airflow through the air handler, harming your system. Your owner’s manual should state the maximum MERV rating you can use.
- The size is perfect. Make sure the replacement filter fits snugly inside the air filter’s frame. If you can’t find the exact size, contact your HVAC contractor who may have it available, or point you to a source that does.
For professional assistance choosing an optimal furnace filter for your home, contact Powers Heating & Air. We’ve been providing top-notch HVAC services for Peachtree City homeowners since 1979.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Peachtree City, Georgia and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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