What Filters Do HVAC Techs Recommend? A Comprehensive Guide

HVAC replacement companies generally recommend HEPA filters because they can provide the highest level of protection when dealing with airborne particulates. This filter is capable of capturing small microns and has a MERV rating between 17 and 20, which means it can trap tobacco smoke and bacteria. A four-inch or larger MERV 11 media filter offers the most cost-effective air filtration for homeowners. In fact, the City of Austin's Green Builder program recommends that a 4-inch media filter be installed in all new homes built in Austin.

People living with allergies or other respiratory problems may benefit most from HEPA filters. A contractor needs to adjust these filters to fit your specific HVAC system. As the name suggests, UV filters use short-wave ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and viruses. When air passes through the HVAC unit, UV lamps disinfect it with germicidal radiation.

UV filters are excellent for killing microorganisms that could be hazardous to health, including mold spores. A potential danger of UV filters is that they can transform oxygen into ozone, which can be hazardous to health. Even low amounts of ozone can cause coughing and chest pain, while higher amounts of ozone can worsen existing respiratory diseases, such as asthma. While UV filters are great at removing bacteria and viruses, they aren't as efficient when it comes to protecting against contaminants such as dust.

That's why they're often part of a larger filtration mechanism, including HEPA air filters. Ultraviolet light is invisible to the human eye and bulbs usually need to be changed every year, depending on the make and model of the HVAC system. Using small cotton and paper fibers, electrostatic filters create static electricity that acts as a magnet for dust and other particles in the air. The magnetism is strong enough to prevent these particles from spreading throughout the house, making them one of the best options for those who need a filter that can combat allergens.

An additional advantage for electrostatic filters is that they are available both disposable and reusable. When it's time to change the filters, you can decide whether to wash and reuse them or throw them away and buy new ones. While certain types of air filters come with reusable and disposable options, washable filters are an eco-friendly way to save money. The starting price of this type of air filter for HVAC systems is high, but it should be considered as an investment that will last for many years.

The starting price is likely all you'll have to pay, as you can simply wash and reuse the filter over and over again instead of buying a new one every few months. Washable filters need to be maintained well to ensure they work as they should. As one of the main types of air filters, they come with maintenance instructions that must be followed. It is very important to ensure that the filter is completely dry before reattaching it.

Even the slightest amount of moisture that remains can cause mold and mildew to form on the filter and expel them into the air you breathe. When it comes to air filters for HVAC systems, media filters can provide more benefits than standard filters with high MERV ratings. Media filters provide the same level of filtration as a high MERV filter, but do so without the negative consequences of airflow or static pressure. In contrast, media filters have a larger surface area, which successfully avoids significant static pressure and provides better filtration.

Media filters are very easy to maintain and ideal for filtering bacteria and other small airborne contaminants. Filtered dirt seals in the filter, preventing it from being ejected back into your home. Media filters are also robust and cost-effective, so they need to be changed as infrequently as once or twice a year. In general, filters will be 1 inch thick for common systems and 5 inches thick for larger HVAC systems.

The total filter size can range from a combination of height and length of 10 inches by 10 inches to 30 inches by 30 inches. At its most basic function, an air filter removes impurities such as dust, pet dander, or even bacteria from the air that flows through the system. Not only does this improve the air quality inside your home, but it also protects your HVAC system from potential damage. Having central air conditioning and heating is certainly an advantage in the eyes of many homeowners, but like all major appliances in the house, your HVAC system must be well maintained to ensure maximum efficiency.

A Second Nature MERV 13 Health Shield filter will capture at least 50% of particles 0.3-1 microns in diameter. To help you master the ins and outs of air cleaners, we've put together a handy guide with everything you need to know. So the answer to the question is technically yes, fiberglass filters allow better airflow, but the difference is largely irrelevant to the HVAC system and its health and efficiency. In actual use, with the air in your home constantly recirculating through the ducts and passing through the filters each time, the cumulative effect of the filters increases.

If you want to improve your oven and AC filter a little, filters in this range can filter out medium-sized particles, 3 to 10 microns, such as pollen and mold spores. If your home's HVAC system is unable to handle MERV 13, opt for a filter with the next highest possible rating. In a conversation about the most common filter levels for retail, MERV 1 to 16, Owen said this range “takes him from filters that could catch a golf ball. I'm exaggerating a bit to filters that will catch almost everything.

If you select a filter that screens the smallest and finest particles, the air flow of the air conditioner and heating system could be restricted, resulting in unsatisfactory performance and efficiency. Pleated air filters used to be the cause of many HVAC breakdowns because the system...