Once upon a time, all air filters were pretty much identical. Today, you will find a wide variety of air filters to choose from that are made of different materials and boast different qualities. So the real question isn’t, “Are all filters the same?” The real question is, “What’s the difference?”
What is a MERV rating?
As an air conditioning service in Oklahoma City, OK, MERV is familiar to us, but might be a new term for you. MERV stands for “minimum efficiency reporting value.” All filters have a MERV rating ranging from 1 to 20. The higher the MERV rating, the finer the particles the air filter is able to catch, which means fewer particles get through the filter.
When looking at different air filters, it’s important to remember that the average AC unit is designed to work best with an air filter with a MERV rating of 13 or less, while quality AC units can work with a MERV rating of 8 to 11. So now that we have an understanding of MERV ratings, let’s take a look at a few different air filters.
The most common and inexpensive type of air filter is fiberglass. You can pick these filters up at any hardware or home improvement store, perhaps even at your local grocery store or pharmacy in a pinch. Fiberglass filters typically have a MERV rating between 1 and 4. While they will trap large dust particles and will protect your AC unit, they typically are unable to trap smaller particles and pollutants such as mold and pollen.
Pleated filters are typically folded accordion style and are made out of cotton or a polyester blend. This design allows a greater fabric surface to fit into a smaller space. The more pleats, the more pollutants are trapped in the folds. At the same time, air can easily flow through the pleated design. With an average MERV rating of 6 or greater, these filters are a step up from fiberglass.
Disposable and washable electrostatic filters
These filters have multiple layers of polyester blend materials that are framed by a polyester mesh. This design allows the filter to create its own static charge, which helps it to grab pollutants out of the air. In fact, electrostatic filters have a MERV rating of 10 or higher. There are disposable electrostatic filters, which can be convenient. However, electrostatic filters may seem pricy to be throwing away every time you change them. There are washable electrostatic filters, which have a greater sticker price, but they will save you money in the long run.
The type of AC unit you have and your budget and specific needs will determine which air filter is best for you. If you’re not sure which to choose, consult your manufacturer’s manual. When you call Dailey Heating & Air Conditioning to schedule your bi-annual air conditioning service in Oklahoma City, OK, we will not only replace your filter, but we can also recommend what type of filter you should be using.
Categorised in: Air Conditioning Service
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