How To Choose Air Filter For Your HVAC

How To Choose Air Filter For Your HVAC

There are pollutants and dust particles in the air surrounding our houses, that’s why our HVAC systems come with built-in air filters to filter out all the dust particles. This way, your house is supplied with a fresh spell of clean air. Here are some advices from HVAC contractors that you can keep in mind when choose the right air filter for your HVAC system.

Check Out the Ratings

Since there are countless number of air filters available in the market, choosing the right one for your HVAC unit can be a bit difficult at times. You can check out the ratings like MERV ratings to get some help in this process.

Basically, the MERV rating tells you about the capacity of an air filter to capture air borne particles when the air is passing through it to enter your house. The MERV ratings range from 1 to 16, a lower rating means an inefficient filter.

The range of good filters start from 7 and go up to 12. You can reduce your need for dusting by investing in a filter with higher MERV rating.

Here are some of the most popular types of HVAC air filters, and what MERV you’ll get out of them.


Fiberglass filters are very bad at capturing all the pollutants. They usually only trap 20% of the pollutants. We can say that these filters are designed to entrap the insects and large particles from entering into the HVAC system. Their MERV ranges from 1-4, and they aren’t good enough to improve the quality of indoor air.

Electrostatic Filters

These are disposable filters that come with chargeable fibers to attract the dust particles in the air. The charge is created by the air used in the filter. They come in standard sizes, and are good if you have pets, children, and smokers inside the house. Since these filters use charge to operate, they should be replaced every 3 months.

Their MERV rating ranges from 6 to 8. This makes them stand on the borderline of good filters.

Pleated Filters

Pleated air filters are definitely a great option, and are better as compared to all the filters that we’ve discussed so far. They are known to capture around 80 to 90 percent of all the particles present in the air trying to come inside your house. A greater number of pleats in this filter means a good quality filter. You can get these filters for $15 per head. These filters have a MERV rating of 6 to 13, and should be changed every 3 months.

The High Efficiency Filters

These are the best of filters that you can buy for your house’s HVAC system. The specific build of these filters allows them to capture around 95% of all the pollutants stranded in the incoming air. These filters can also entrap mold, small dust and other particles that can cause lung diseases. You can also invest in UV filters, that apply UV light to clean all the harmful bacteria and germs in the air. Usually, you can go away by using 9 to 12 MERV filters, but these filters have 9 to 16 MERV rating, making them the absolute best option that you can choose from.

While considering the MERV rating is a good option, you’ll still have to consider the restriction to airflow that a high MERV filter can cause. If the airflow is affected by your air filter, it will cause the furnace to work harder to achieve the desired temperature. This can cause an increase in your energy bill.

The Filters That You Can Reuse

There are some filters that you can reuse, but these filters need to be cleaned on a regular basis to keep all the dust and dirt out of the way. While they can definitely save you some money by being reused, they might not do the work they’re designed and supposed to do.

What To Choose?

You can choose the air filter according to your needs. For example, you should invest in a good filter if you’re living in a dusty area. Other types would work the best if you have pets, kids and smokers inside the house. Moreover, if your AC needs repair or maintenance, just changing the air filter won’t suffice. You should contact HVAC repair services Fairfax for this purpose.