HVAC/R Specialists Serving Reading & Berks County

Which Kind of Filter Is Right for You?

A simple and easy switch that can drastically improve the air quality in your home or business.

You should replace your HVAC system’s air filters every month. If that seems unreasonable, at least change it every other month to limit the number of airborne particles, debris, and other irritants forced into the air when your system kicks on. Determining which type of filter is best for you will make shopping for filters easier.

Determine your needs

Before you go and invest in whichever filter you can find at the store, you should first determine what is the number one priority in a filter you are looking for. You could be looking for a filter that removes the maximum amount of particles and irritants from the air, or you could be looking for a type that will cost you the least amount of money if you decide to invest in a year’s supply of air filters. It’s just as important to know the size of your filters, as certain systems require specific filters with the correct measurements to function properly.

MERV rating

The acronym MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value. All filters receive a MERV rating from the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). They are designed to target and remove particles larger than 0.30 microns. Typically a MERV 13 filter will catch more particles than a MERV 8 filter, and the higher the number of the filter, the better accuracy in removing irritants from the air.

Fiberglass, Aluminum Mesh, and Disposable filters

These most common types of filters remove the most common types of irritants such as pollen, dust mites, aerosol sprays, mold spores, and pet dander. These kinds of filters are ideal for people who don’t have a preexisting health condition that requires the purest type of air. When deciding which filter is the perfect fit for you, check to see the MERV rating and remember that the higher the rating, the more effective

Home Box and Commercial filters

These kinds of filters would be ideal for places that see a different type of irritant. Things like lead dust, flour, auto and welding fumes, and smoke will be able to be trapped by these filters. These filters’ MERV ratings tend to fall in the middle of the spectrum.

HEPA filters

HEPA filters, which stand for high efficiency particulate air, are designed to remove particles that are smaller than 0.30 microns. These types of filters are the best when it comes to removing pathogens and viruses from the air. The coronavirus, for example, is 0.1 microns which are way smaller than a MERV filter can handle. Typically HEPA filters are used in hospital operating rooms and places that require the most sanitary conditions, so those with certain health conditions should be looking at these. HEPA filters typically are not compatible with most HVAC systems by themselves and will require a separate apparatus to achieve that maximum clean air.

Professional Assistance

Sometimes having a second opinion from a trained professional will reaffirm the decision you made, and the same goes for choosing a filter. At ACS, we will provide a replacement filter, or a few, upon request for each service call, cleaning, or repair.