The filter plays an important role in heating, ventilating and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. It’s designed to remove dust, dirt and other particulate matter, cleaning the air as it flows through the ducts. Unless you’re familiar with HVAC systems, you might not
know if all types of air filter are the same.
The short answer is no — not all HVAC air filters are the same. In addition to varying in size, air filters also vary in their ability to remove particulate matter from the air.
The Importance of Using a Clean Air Filter
In addition to provoking indoor air pollution, dirty air filters can damage a home’s HVAC system. When not changed on a regular basis, particulate matter accumulates inside the filter and restricts the flow of air. This forces the air handler motor to work harder, which can cause it to burn out. When this occurs, you may need heating repair services to fix the damage.
When choosing an air filter always pay attention to its Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating. Developed by the National Air Filtration Association (NAFA), it reveals the filter’s ability to remove particulate matter from the air. MERV ratings can range from 1 to 20. Air filters with a high MERV rating remove more particulate matter than those which have a low MERV rating.
High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters typically have the highest MERV rating which varies between 17 and 20. As explained by CNET, HEPA filters are designed and regulated by strict standards requiring them to filter at least 99.97 percent of all particulate matter larger than 0.3 µm (micrometers).
However you must also keep in mind, air filters with a high MERV rating also require more pressure than filters with a low MERV rating. Without the sufficient pressure, air will essentially stop when it reaches the filter.
If your HVAC system needs heating repair or maintenance services, contact Normal Aire Services to schedule an appointment today.