Pro Tips on Choosing the Right Air Filter for Your HVAC System

An air conditioning unit

You need to inspect, clean, or change your furnace and central air conditioner’s filters once every month. But how do you find the right air filters for your unit? Here are four tips to help you choose the right HVAC filter:

Check the Filter’s Efficiency Rating

An air filter’s minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating is a useful indicator of its effectiveness. MERV ratings range from 1 to 20 and the higher the rating, the more efficient.

High-efficiency HVAC filters are not practical for residential use and are ideal for hospitals and other “clean-room” spaces. Residential HVAC systems require a filter with a MERV rating of at least 6. MERV 9 to 12 filters are usually the best choice for homeowners who desire good dust control.

Consider the Filter’s Effect on Airflow

An overly restrictive filter may slow the rate of airflow, thus causing your system to malfunction. Strike a balance between the cleaner’s efficiency and its impact on airflow. Go for the filter with the least effect on airflow, but still has an acceptable efficiency. Such an air filter will remove a vast amount of air contaminants without posing a danger to your unit.

Have an Idea of Available Types of Filters

Common types of filters include HEPA filters, bag filters, box filters, pleated filters, cartridge filters, washable filters and electrostatic filters. These filters are made from different materials, and they have different MERV ratings. Your HVAC contractor in Jacksonville can help you choose among the available types of filters.

Avoid Washable Air Filters

Most Jacksonville air conditioning repair services providers discourage homeowners from buying washable air filters. That’s because washable cleaners have a low MERV rating and they require extensive maintenance.

HVAC air filters are not created equal. Choose the wrong one and it may fail to protect you from air pollutants, affect airflow, and damage your unit. Your HVAC contractor can help you choose the right filter for your system.