What HVAC Filters Do
HVAC filters play an important role in your home’s heating and cooling system. They are used to filter small particles like dust, pollen, and pet dander out of the air that you breathe. The filter in your HVAC unit prevents those small particles from being recirculated throughout your home.
Filters also play an important part in keeping your system free from larger particles that could damage it. Therefore, you want to make sure that you are always using the right type of filter and change it when it is dirty. Here are the different types of filters available for residential HVAC systems.
Types of Filters
When it comes to HVAC units, there are different types of filters that can be included inside. If you are lost and need some guidance as to what filter is best for you, consider researching the pros and cons before making a decision.
Fiberglass Air Filters
Fiberglass filters are the most common type of air filter. It is an attractive choice because they are affordable and effectively protect your HVAC unit from debris. It’s important to note that fiberglass filters are not air purifiers and may get clogged easily. You may want to consider another type of filter if you have a history of breathing issues.
Pleated Air Filters
Made with cotton or polyester fabrics, pleated filters are folded multiple times to create pleats. Each has a MERV rating between 5 and 13 and are great at filtering dust along with other airborne pollutants. Pleated filters are less resistant to airflow and don’t necessarily do a good job at filtering air throughout your home, but if you have pets this filter handles pet dander well.
This choice is appealing because it is known to help reduce the noise your HVAC fan produces. The filters come with reusable and disposable options, but the downside is they are a bit pricey. If dust-stopping isn’t your top priority, consider one of the other filter options listed.
High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filters
With a MERV rating of 16 or higher, HEPA filters can remove at least 99.97% of airborne particles. Most homes don’t need this level of protection, but if having the cleanest air possible is important to you then this filter may be the perfect choice for you. Aside from the fact that your air will be fresh, the HEPA filters are cost-effective. They may be expensive upfront, but they last years and can be a long-term option for your property.
The problem that you may run into with this filter is the installation process. It’s important to remember these filters are advanced and must be specifically adjusted to your HVAC system. Specialists only recommend these filters for those with breathing problems.
Using a shortwave UV light, Ultraviolet filters kill bacteria and viruses. When air passes through your HVAC, the UV light disinfects using germicidal radiation and kills microorganisms like mold.
Filter King reports, “There is potential for UV filters converting oxygen into ozone. Small amounts of ozone can cause residents to experience chest pain and develop a cough. Higher amounts can be worse than existing respiratory problems like asthma, which could be a risk for those with certain health conditions.”
The quality of air in your home will improve considering the UV light kills small particles and harmful pollutants, but larger particles like pet dander, tobacco smoke, and other odors will still linger. Keep in mind the installation of these filters is expensive too and should be done professionally.