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A Homeowner’s Guide to Air Filters

Air filters are the crux of what keeps our ventilation systems running efficiently, which means choosing the right filter for your system is essential for clean air to cycle through your home. With a variety of air filter types to choose from, determining the “right” one can be an overwhelming task. To help make it easy, here’s our ultimate guide to air filters.   

Most Common Types of Air Filters

Pleated Air Filters

Pleated air filters one of the most common choices for residential HVAC units. Our HVAC professionals typically suggest that our clients choose pleated air filters in their homes and businesses. Here’s why:

  • Pros
    • Their ability to filter out small particles is best for individuals with allergies or breathing complications.
    • Filters can last up to 90 days before needing to be changed.
  • Cons
    • Often cost more than fiberglass air filters.
    • Some systems are not designed to handle this type of filter.

Fiberglass Air Filters

Fiberglass filters are another common choice among homeowners. Just like pleated air filters, these filters also come with their share of pros and cons.

  • Pros
    • Filters are less expensive to purchase.
    • Great for capturing large debris.
  • Cons
    • Filters must be changed monthly to prevent blockages of air flow from occurring.
    • Smaller surface area allows smaller particles to cycle back into the air

MERV Rating

Minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) ratings measure how effectively an air filter can stop particles like dust and allergens from cycling back into the air. Although many homeowners may think the highest MERV rated filter is best, these filters are highly restrictive and can be harmful to your HVAC system. Highly MERV rated filters should only be used in areas such as operating rooms, pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, and hospitals. When it comes to choosing the right filter for your home, our HVAC experts suggest homeowners choose filters with an 8-12 MERV rating.

Preventative Maintenance is an Investment

No matter which rating or type of filter you choose, the key to clean air is proper maintenance. Regularly changing out filters when needed can help keep your entire system running efficiently, saving you money in the long run. HVAC maintenance shouldn’t stop there. Preventative maintenance is crucial for the health and longevity of any HVAC system. Learn more about preventative maintenance by visiting our VIP Preventative Maintenance page.

Whichever air filter you go with, rely on our trusted team at Valor Mechanical to help you. Our friendly and professional technicians are well-trained and licensed to handle even the toughest of jobs. To see all the ways that we can be there for you, visit our services page.