What Type of Air Filter Should You Use for Your AC System?

The short answer is no, not all air filters are the same. In fact, there are many different types of air filters available and selecting the right one can make a real difference to the lifespan of your air conditioning system. Most disposable filters for domestic air conditioning systems are made of fiberglass. Polyester filters, while more expensive, offer an improved ability to stop dust and allergens.

Pleated designs usually have higher MERV indices. As classification increases, filters can progressively capture smaller particles and tend to cost more. You should expect to replace the filter every three to 12 months of use, depending on the size of the filter. An HVAC professional would install a small cabinet next to the boiler or air controller (on the air intake side) to hold the thicker filter.

Then, they “exhale” through the supply ducts and ventilation grilles, bringing cold or warm air into the living room. If your air conditioning system is or can be equipped with a thicker fluid filter, you'll be in better shape and have more filtration options. We also control the extent to which each filter restricts air flow, using a differential pressure transducer installed in the air filter. Since a filter filter has much more surface area than a one-inch filter, a MERV 11 filter can be used, which is approximately 85% effective against mold spores and larger dust particles.

Most home improvement stores sell climate filters, from the MERV 1 to MERV 13, although CR has tested models as tall as the MERV 16. Checking the dimensions of your current air filter is the easiest way to determine the size you'll need. But these are usually filters with a rating of at least MERV 11, which is the classification in which filters begin to trap most particles the size of common allergens. Some filter brands and retailers use alternative scales, such as Home Depot's Air Filter Performance Rating System (FPR) or the MPR (on 3M Filtrete air filters). The secret is that they can capture tons of waste using relatively porous filtering material, thanks to the enormous surface area over which dirty air has to pass approximately four times as much filter material as a 1-inch filter.

A clogged filter, which can lead to reduced efficiency and poor air quality, is one of the most common HVAC problems faced by homeowners in Brighton, Illinois. At MERV 13, the highest rating you'll find on most popular residential HVAC filter sizes, you can count on the filter to stop bacteria, smoke, and other microscopic particles. Air filters usually come in a variety of standard sizes, and some can be adapted to fit different sized filter boxes or air return openings. You'll usually find a filter of the exact size at a hardware store, but sometimes you'll have to order the right filter size on the internet.

When it comes down to selecting an air conditioning filter for your home or business, it's important to understand what type of filtration you need and how often you should replace it. The type of filter you choose will depend on your budget and needs. If you're looking for maximum protection from allergens and other airborne particles, then pleated filters with higher MERV ratings are your best bet. If you're looking for something more affordable that still offers good filtration capabilities, then fiberglass or polyester filters may be your best option.

No matter what type of air conditioning system you have or what type of filter you choose, it's essential to remember that regular maintenance is key for keeping your system running efficiently and effectively. Make sure you check your filters regularly and replace them when necessary.

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