HOW TO EVALUATE YOUR HVAC FILTER
Every home equipped with a Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning system utilizes a filter to help provide that indoor comfort. So, when buying a new filter or upgrading your current system to provide the right comfort level for your home, there are a few things to consider. First is the actual rating of your filters. Every filter is rated for a particular level of efficiency. The higher the rating, the more particles it catches, but this also means the cost will increase.
Air Filter Ratings
Air filters are rated with a number of scales but the only one that really matters is the HEPA filter rating. HEPA stands for high efficiency particulate absorbing. These types of filters are considered the best on the market. A HEPA filter comes with a number of options. The actual device that uses the filter will have a MERV rating that corresponds to how small the particles are that it can capture.
An entry level MERV rating is usually around 10 and will capture most major particles like dust, debris, dander and pollen. However, the highest rated HEPA filters have MERV ratings of 13 and can capture particulates as small as 0.3 microns 99.7% of the time.
Some filters are even capable of capturing viruses and bacteria, which are often much smaller than those other particles but can be caught in the debris field through the filter.
What You Actually Need
So, what does your home actually need? It depends largely on how much you need to filter out of your indoor air. Most HVAC providers can provide full testing of your indoor air quality and let you know if you need to target anything in particular. Most often, the contaminants you should worry about include dust, pollen and dander which means a modest MERV 10 air filter is in most cases sufficient.
However, if your air is filled with smaller contaminants like mold spores, a high grade HEPA filter is a must – not just for your comfort but for your health.
Hometech Builders has a team of expert HVAC employees if you have any questions regarding your current system or are thinking of upgrading to a more energy efficient system. Feel free to give us a call or schedule a free no obligation appointment.