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What are the different types of air conditioning filters for your home?

Your home's HVAC filters have an important job to do. They keep the air inside your home free from dust, pollen, pet dander, and other small particles, making sure you and your family can breathe easy year-round.

The higher your filter's minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating, the more effective it will be. MERV is a consumer standard developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and measures a filter's ability to trap airborne particles. The MERV scale ranges from 1 to 20, but your home should stay within 8 to 13. If it exceeds 13, your HVAC will break down at a faster rate.

Types of HVAC Filters

High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filters

HEPA filters rank high on the MERV scale at a 16 or higher. They trap the smallest particles from cigarette smoke, bacteria, mold, allergens, and other pollutants. And while they're incredibly effective, they don't need replacing often.

Most homes don't require the level of protection HEPA filters offer. They're usually recommended to those with severe breathing problems, and they must be specifically adjusted to your HVAC system. HEPA filters are the most effective at removing airborne particles but don't protect against odors, fumes, or gasses.

Interested in getting HEPA filters installed? Our experts at Aire Serv of Aggieland at (979) 314-3224 are the ones to call.

Fiberglass Filters

Fiberglass filters are popular because they're inexpensive. Made with strands of fiberglass, they keep your HVAC system free from dirt and debris as long as they're changed regularly. However, they don't perform well at filtering small airborne contaminants and rank low on the MERV scale. For these reasons, it's best to avoid these filters if you suffer from allergies or asthma.

Pleated Filters

Pleated filters rank between 5 and 13 on the MERV scale. Made with folded cotton or polyester fabric, they're great for filtering dust and other airborne pollutants.

Pleated filters are known for their ability to trap dust, and although they're more expensive than fiberglass filters, they don't need as much replacing. Additionally, they can help reduce the noise coming from your HVAC fan, and you can find them in reusable and disposable options.

If pleated filters sound like the best option for you, allow our experts at Aire Serv of Aggieland at (979) 314-3224 to help assist you.

Ultraviolet (UV) Light Filters

UV filters kill harmful bacteria and viruses with shortwave UV light as air passes through your HVAC system. They're an excellent option for protecting against mold, but they run the risk of turning oxygen into ozone. Small amounts of ozone can cause chest pain or coughing, and higher amounts are especially harmful to those with asthma.

UV filters don't protect against larger particles like dust mites and pet dander and can't filter particles from tobacco smoke and other odors. For these reasons, they're usually installed alongside an existing filter.

Media Filters

Media filters are a low-maintenance option with excellent filtration abilities. They only need changing once or twice a year, and their large surface area makes them most effective at trapping airborne particles. However, they aren't effective in fighting odors.

Media filters have high MERV ratings, and they perform their job well without impacting airflow or static pressure. If you're interested in media filters, keep in mind they need professional installation.

Need to know if media filters are right for you? Our team at Aire Serv of Aggieland at (979) 314-3224 can help you make the right decision.

Washable Filters

Washable filters are environmentally friendly, and they can last your HVAC's entire lifespan. But, they need diligent care and maintenance to function properly. Even the smallest amount of water can lead to mold or mildew, and those particles could recirculate into the air you're breathing.

Washable filters tackle dust, dirt, and other contaminants, but they don't protect against odors. They aren't the best option for allergy sufferers because they can spread contaminants if they aren't cleaned regularly.

If you're interested in installing washable filters in your home, reach out to Aire Serv of Aggieland at (979) 314-3224 for more information.

Electrostatic Filters

Electrostatic filters use static electricity to attract dust and dirt particles. They are the best option for fighting against allergens.

Electrostatic filters are available in disposable and reusable options. They're affordable, and if you choose reusable filters, there's no need for costly replacements. Though electrostatic filters are great for trapping small particles, they can struggle with catching larger dust or mold spore particles. They're best to avoid if you struggle with breathing problems.

What filters are right for me?

To find which filters are best for you, contact Aire Serv of Aggieland at (979) 314-3224 for a consultation, and we'll be happy to help.