Over the last decade, the adoption of the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV), introduced by ASHRAE, standardized definitions of efficiency. What MERV does is measure a filter’s ability to remove particles from the air, large or small. Generally, most contractors suggests using an air filter that is HEPA made. This is because it’s the most efficient in blocking out particles and allergens, and improves indoor air quality. Rule of thumb: the higher the MERV rating, the better the air filter.
Below are several types of air filters common in the HVAC field:
Fiberglass Air Filters
Pros: Cheap. Available anywhere. Easy to replace.
Cons: Replaced every month. Does not improve indoor air quality.
Pros: Long-lasting (up to 12 months). Captures smaller air particles. Helps improve indoor air quality. Available in many sizes.
Cons: Wider pleated filters may require modification to fit in ductwork. More expensive.
High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filters
Pros: Removes high percentage of allergens. Removes most bacteria. Most particles captures are not released in the air again.
Cons: Does not remove fumes, smoke, or odors. No as effective in capturing the smallest viruses. Micro-organism captured in filter can breed or reproduce.
Pros: Washable. Inexpensive for reusable filter.
Cons: Extensive maintenance. Considered as the worst filter.
If you have any questions regarding air filters, visit our page on air filters.
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