What Type of Air Conditioning Filter Should I Buy to Replace My Current Filter?

Indoor air quality is essential for any homeowner, especially if there are family members with respiratory problems. To get the best indoor air quality, it's important to understand the different types of home air filters and their advantages and disadvantages. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHARE) recommends a MERV 6 or higher for air conditioning systems. Most people opt for a MERV 8 filter, which is suitable for most residential areas and can remove contaminants with MERV 8 to MERV 13. Hospitals usually use MERV 14 to MERV 20.

To make sure you get the right replacement filter, check the size of your current filter, which is usually listed on the side of the print with length, width, and depth in inches in that order. High-efficiency filters that are also cost-effective are usually best for homes, but other factors should be taken into account such as whether there are pets in the home, whether mold or mildew is a threat, and how often filters should be changed. It's wise to talk to an HVAC professional before making any decisions about air filters. HEPA filters are great for people who live with allergies or other respiratory problems.

These filters must be adjusted by a contractor to fit your specific HVAC system.

UV filters

use short-wave ultraviolet light to kill bacteria and viruses when air passes through the air conditioning unit. UV filters are great for eliminating microorganisms that could be hazardous to health, including mold spores. However, they can transform oxygen into ozone which can be hazardous to health and worsen existing respiratory diseases such as asthma.

UV filters are not as efficient when it comes to detecting contaminants like dust, so they are often part of a larger filtration mechanism that includes HEPA air filters. Electrostatic filters use small cotton and paper fibers to create static that acts as a magnet for dust and other particles suspended in the air. The magnetism is strong enough to prevent these particles from spreading throughout the house, making them one of the best options for those who need a filter that can combat allergens. Electrostatic filters are available as disposable and reusable options.

Washable filters are an environmentally friendly way to save money since they can be washed and reused over and over instead of buying new ones every few months. The starting price of this type of filter is high but it should be considered an investment that will last for many years. Washable filters must be well maintained to ensure that they work as they should and must be completely dry before putting them back in to avoid mold and mildew formation in the filter.

Media filters

provide the same level of filtration as a filter with a high MERV content but without the negative consequences of airflow or static pressure.

They have a larger surface area which successfully avoids significant static pressure and provides better filtration at the same time. Media filters are very easy to maintain and are great for filtering bacteria and other small airborne contaminants. They should be changed as infrequently as once or twice a year and come with maintenance instructions that must be followed.

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