Filters are an important component of your HVAC system. They’re responsible for trapping particles to increase the air quality of your home. Understandably, many Boston homeowners aren’t sure where to begin when choosing from the variety of options available. Here, we’ll take a look at some things to keep in mind when choosing the best filter for your home.
What to know when looking for the best HVAC air filter
When browsing for HVAC filters, you’ll notice that there’s a stark price difference between the most affordable and more expensive options. While you can save some money in the short-term by purchasing a cheaper model, don’t forget about replacement costs in the future.
Better quality air filters will more than make up for their higher cost in the long term by improving your unit’s energy efficiency and saving you money on replacements and maintenance. As you’re browsing for filters, there are some important industry-specific terms to keep in mind. These terms will make it easier to pinpoint the ideal filter for your home.
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV)
MERV is used as a way to measure an air filter’s effectiveness at removing larger particles from the air. It focuses on air pollutants that measure from 0.3 to 10 microns in size. The rating extends from 1 to 16 with higher numbers designating finer filtration. It’s advisable for Boston homeowners to choose a filter with a MERV rating higher than 10 for optimal indoor air quality.
Microparticle Performance Rating (MPR)
While MERV describes a filter’s ability to trap particles larger than one micron, MPR focuses on even finer particles.
High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA)
If you’ve done any research on filters, you’ve most likely come across the term HEPA before. This high-efficiency filter traps particles from the air by using the natural power of electric charges. They have the ability to filter air pollutants that are as small as 0.3 microns with almost 100% efficacy.
Important considerations when choosing the right filter
The first step in finding the right filter for your HVAC system is to make sure it’s compatible with the unit. The size and brand of your HVAC system will determine the size of filter that’s required. You can typically find this information on the unit or in the included user’s manual. Similarly, filters will clearly display their dimensions on the packaging.
Another important consideration is the quality of filtration needed in your house. Most homeowners will achieve great indoor air quality with a MERV rating of 11. However, there are some individuals who might want to consider a higher efficiency filter depending on unique needs such as greater sensitivity, allergies, or health complications.
High-efficiency filters might seem like the best choice at first due to their ability to trap smaller particles, but these specialized filters can cause problems for some HVAC units. The finer filtration requires a greater operating capacity to continue circulating the air at the desired rate. Before investing in a higher quality filter, it’s important to consult with a HVAC professional to determine if your unit can handle it.
How to keep your filter working optimally
While choosing the right filter is key to getting the most out of your HVAC system, there are some other steps you can take to ensure everything’s running smoothly.
Check it regularly
As filters collect dust, debris, and other air pollutants over time, it becomes harder and harder for air to flow through. This places extra stress on your unit, decreases its energy efficiency, and negatively impacts your home’s IAQ. It’s advisable to check your filters at least once a month.
Replace when necessary
While an HVAC system will last many years, not all pieces have the same lifespan. Filters will need to be changed the most consistently to keep everything running smoothly. Past their prime, filters can cause problems for your entire HVAC system and might even release allergens and other air pollutants back into your home’s air. You should check with the lifespan of the HVAC filter to determine how often they should be replaced. Your entire HVAC system needs regular maintenance to keep it running smooth and extend the lifespan of the HVAC unit.
The importance of working with an HVAC professional in Boston
Although replacing an HVAC filter is something you can do yourself, it’s ideal to work with an experienced HVAC service company in Boston that will schedule routine A/C maintenance so that you don’t have to worry about HVAC filters and maintenance.
If you’re looking for a reliable HVAC service company in the Boston area that can handle routine heating and cooling maintenance, schedule a service visit with us. We’ve been helping satisfied homeowners with their heating and cooling needs for years and would be more than happy to assist you.