The quantity of HVAC air filters in the marketplace is downright overwhelming. They will run the gamut from the inexpensive—albeit ineffective—fiberglass filter, to HEPA—that are thought-about the Cadillacs of the HVAC air filter world. We perceive how simple it’s to get misplaced in a sea of evaluations and suggestions. Subsequently, we’re sharing the variations between the most typical forms of HVAC filters that will help you navigate the dizzying subject of decisions.

How Many Completely different Sorts of Air Filters Are There?

There are extra air forms of air filters than we are able to record, however for the sake of brevity, we’re sharing the 7 most common air filters, they’re:

  • Fiberglass Filters
  • Pleated Filters
  • HEPA Filters
  • UV Filters
  • Electrostatic Filters
  • Washable Filters
  • Media Filters

SC AirFilter 03 - Not All Filters Are Created Equal. The HVAC Filter Hierarchy Explained

Every of those filters does a selected job. The one you need in your house relies on the kind of job you need it to do. Some households have plenty of pets and wish a filter that may take away pet dander. Different houses have individuals who endure from bronchial asthma and allergy symptoms and would decide a filter based mostly on that standards.

The air filters we’re speaking about are all produced from completely different supplies. Nearly all of them, besides a HEPA filter, have a MERV ranking as properly. MERV stands for Minimal Environment friendly Reporting Worth and scores filters from 1 to 16 based mostly on how properly they will entice indoor air pollution. The upper the MERV ranking, the extra airborne contaminates it’ll catch. For instance,

  • Filters with a MERV ranking between 1 and 4 will catch issues like pollen, mud mites, and carpet fibers.
  • Filters rated between 5 and eight will catch every thing listed above, in addition to mildew spores and indoor air contaminates from issues like cloth protector and hair spray.
  • Any filters with a MERV ranking between 9 and 12 can catch every thing listed between scores 1 by means of 8, and lead mud, humidifier mud, and air pollution from auto emissions.
  • And eventually, filters with a ranking of 13 to 16 will filter micro organism, tobacco smoke, sneeze particles and every thing else listed above.

SC AirFilter 08 - Not All Filters Are Created Equal. The HVAC Filter Hierarchy Explained

Fiberglass Filters

The primary filter on our record is essentially the most used air filter in the marketplace. Fiberglass filters are widespread due to their price-point and availability. These filters could be discovered at any {hardware} or house enchancment retailer and are even bought for lower than a greenback. Nevertheless, relating to filters you get what you pay for.

Fiberglass air filters have a MERV ranking that falls between 2 and 4. This implies fiberglass air filters should not nice at catching issues like mud, dander, and some other allergens. One other draw back to fiberglass air filters is that they should be modified extra typically than different forms of filters. They’ve a small floor space and are unable to carry a considerable amount of particles. This challenge offsets the low price. You’re paying much less for an air filter, nevertheless it must be changed extra typically.

SC AirFilter 07 - Not All Filters Are Created Equal. The HVAC Filter Hierarchy Explained

Pleated Filters

After fiberglass filters, the most typical filter in the marketplace is a pleated filter. These filters are made with sheets of cotton, paper, or polyester. The sheets are folded into pleats so that they have a bigger floor space and might successfully snare extra air contaminates and particles.

One other perk of pleated filters is that they don’t should be modified as typically as fiberglass filters. Although they might price barely greater than fiberglass, they maintain extra worth as a result of they last more. Pleated filters have completely different MERV scores. There isn’t a blanket ranking. The assigned ranking relies on the fabric and building. For instance, a pleated filter rated an 8 on the MERV scale can block pollen, mud, and pet dander. Whereas a pleated filter with an 11 ranking can block pollen, mud, pet dander, mildew spores, smog and automobile fumes.

SC AirFilter 01 - Not All Filters Are Created Equal. The HVAC Filter Hierarchy Explained

HEPA Filters

One of the vital fascinating issues about HEPA (Excessive-Effectivity Particulate Air) filters is that they don’t have a MERV ranking. HEPA filters are so sturdy they’re in a class all their very own. Constructed from a number of layers of tightly wound fiberglass strands, HEPA filters can catch 99.9% of indoor air contaminates. The truth is, HEPA filters are so sturdy they’re utilized in hospitals and heath care amenities.

A house with individuals who cope with allergy symptoms and bronchial asthma would tremendously profit from a HEPA filter. Regardless of this, a robust air filter isn’t the top all be all for preserving allergy symptoms at bay. Along with a robust air filter, homeowners should frequently vacuum and mud and routinely change bedding to assist fight allergens.

One downside of HEPA filters is that not all HVAC methods can match a HEPA filter. Generally these filters are bigger than conventional filters and gained’t work with typical HVAC methods. Due to this be sure you ask your HVAC tech which filter is greatest to your present system.

SC AirFilter 04 - Not All Filters Are Created Equal. The HVAC Filter Hierarchy Explained

UV Filters

Once we say UV filter, we actually imply a UV purification system with an additional air filter. The thought of solely a UV gentle with the ability to clear the air is sweet. It sadly doesn’t work that manner. The UV purifications methods utilized in HVAC goal viruses, micro organism, and different microscopic organisms that make you sick. What they don’t goal is mud, dander, pollen and bigger particles.

UV lights for HVAC are fascinating. They’re often positioned proper above the air filter and act as an additional layer of safety for everybody in your house. When a dangerous particle passes by the UV gentle, rays goal and nearly “zap” the particle, inflicting it to fall out of the environment.

We advocate a standard pleated filter with a UV air purifier for essentially the most optimum HVAC setup. A pleated filter will catch bigger particles like pollen, mud, and dander, whereas the UV air purifier will kill any viral or bacterial air contaminates.

SC AirFilter 02 - Not All Filters Are Created Equal. The HVAC Filter Hierarchy Explained

Electrostatic Filters

You know the way static could make issues cling to your garments? Now consider that, however with mud and indoor air contaminates. Electrostatic filters use static as a magnet to drag particles from the air. An electrostatic filter is best suited to a home with small children or pets.

Electrostatic filters could be disposable or washable, all of it relies on the kind you purchase. The MERV ranking additionally relies on the person filter. Like every thing else, not all electrostatic filters are created equal. Some can have a decrease or greater MERV ranking, all of it relies on the fabric.

SC AirFilter 06 - Not All Filters Are Created Equal. The HVAC Filter Hierarchy Explained

Washable Filters

Sustainability is one thing we hear extra of our purchasers asking about. Some are sad they should change out and ostensibly waste supplies after they might have a extra sustainable choice. Whereas washable filters have plenty of professionals, additionally they have important drawbacks.

One of the best factor about washable filters is that they maintain extra stuff from ending up in a landfill. The upfront price for a washable filter could come as a shock to some, however over time a reusable air filter pays for itself. A washable filter shouldn’t be the most suitable choice for anybody wo suffers from bronchial asthma or allergy symptoms. The supplies washable filters are manufactured from can not successfully entice issues like pet dander or pollen.

One other factor to remember is that it’s essential to let a washable filter utterly dry earlier than placing it again in your HVAC unit. Placing in an air filter that’s nonetheless moist might result in mildew progress; nobody desires to be respiration that in.

 

Media Filters

A majority of the filters we included listed here are solely an inch thick. Then again, a media filter is round eight inches thick, which implies you’re getting seven extra inches of safety to your indoor air.  Due to their heft, media filters can give you the identical high quality air as a high-MERV filter, however with out a few of the drawbacks like diminished air circulation or static strain.

The bigger floor space of media filters means they stop static strain, dust, dander, and different particles from coming into your property. A grievance we hear although is {that a} skilled should set up this filter. Due to their measurement, media filters are greatest left to somebody who is aware of how precisely to put in them.

The one different grievance folks have about media filters is that they don’t filter smells like smoke or cooking odors.

SC AirFilter 05 - Not All Filters Are Created Equal. The HVAC Filter Hierarchy Explained

Need to Study Extra about HVAC Filters? Converse with the Consultants at Service Champions

Do you need to elevate your indoor air high quality? In that case, schedule an appointment with an HVAC knowledgeable from Service Champions. Our technicians obtain yearly coaching to make sure they’re updated with the newest HVAC improvements. We’re the one Diamond Licensed plumbing and HVAC firm in Southern California and proudly serve areas of Los Angeles, Riverside, Orange, and San Bernardino county. Name the quantity on the high of the display screen or click here to book an appointment online.