Indoor air quality affects your overall well-being. Consequently, the furnace filter you choose can have a significant impact on your health and that of your HVAC system.
What’s a MERV rating?
MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value. The ratings range from 1 to 16 and are used to evaluate the efficiency of an air filter based on how effective it is at catching particles of varying sizes. Consequently, the higher the MERV rating, the more effective the filter is at removing particles from the air. It’s recommended that homes and businesses use a furnace filter with a MERV rating of at least 8.
Types of furnace filters
It’s important to know the differences between each type of filter to determine which one is most suitable for your needs. Here’s an overview of four of the most widely available furnace filters:
1. Fibreglass filters are the cheapest option. However, they need to be changed monthly and only filter out large particles such as lint and dust. Since fibreglass filters only have a MERV rating of 2 or 3, they aren’t ideal for people who suffer from asthma or allergies.
2. Electrostatic filters use self-charging fibres to attract and lock in airborne particles like magnets. They come in disposable and reusable versions, depending on the requirements of your furnace. Most electrostatic filters offer a MERV rating between 4 and 10. Consequently, they’re great for homes with smokers or pets.
3. Pleated filters are the most common type of furnace filter and come in a variety of sizes to fit most HVAC units. They’re affordable, efficient and long-lasting. Pleated filters effectively remove small particles from the air and usually have a MERV rating of 7 or 8 but can be as high as 13.
4. HEPA filters, or high-efficiency particulate filters, remove up to 99% of airborne allergens and pollutants. They usually have a MERV rating between 12 and 16. However, HEPA filters are quite expensive and can restrict airflow to your HVAC system.
If you’re not sure which filter is right for your furnace, the team at Harmony Heating & Air Conditioning would be happy to help you find one that meets your needs.