Choosing the Right Air Filter For Your Nashville Home

Trying to select the right air filter for your the U.S. home can be a daunting experience. What’s the best one? Should you just get the cheapest? These are just a few of the questions that make the selection mind-boggling. Let Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing crack the code of home air filters for you, so you can feel comfortable with your purchase.

Here’s an easy way to determine how efficient your current filter is (NOTE: Do this outdoors or with something below the filter so you don’t end up with a mess): Hold the filter horizontally, then using standard table salt, start pouring the salt through the filter to see the quantity that comes out the other side. If some or all the salt falls through the filter, then you know that the filter will let dust particles of similar size pass through. You really should upgrade your filter to higher quality filter that is more efficient.

There are 3 primary considerations when choosing a household air filter; Size, Material and MERV rating.

1) Filter Size

Size is the easiest factor to ascertain. Simply look at the label of your existing filter to see the proper measurements, or just measure it yourself. Typically home air filters are 1” thick, but there are a numerous standard width and height dimensions, and some systems have thicker filters.

2) Material & MERV Rating

MERV ratings are the efficiencies of the filter on a scale of 16. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This number identifies for the user, under the least efficient conditions, how well the filter is designed to trap contaminants.

To explain MERV ratings more impactfully, these are some typical MERV ratings and how they correspond to efficiencies. This is only a guide, so make sure you read the filter manufacturers’ information when purchasing specific filters.

Rating Average Filtration Efficiency

MERV 1-4 60-80%
Fiberglass, Disposable Panel, Washable metal/synthetic, self-charging (Passive)

MERV 5-8 80-95%
Pleated, Media panel, Cube

MERV 9-12 >95%
Extended pleated

MERV 13-16 >98%
Electronic

Be Careful About High MERV Ratings

While a higher MERV number may offer better filtration efficiency, it is critical to understand that too high a MERV filter may also cost you more to operate your heating and air conditioning system. The higher the MERV, the more difficult the air may flow through the system, and the harder the system may need to work. Your goal is to get the right balance between air flow, air filtration level and energy efficiency.

Look at it this way, the most efficient ‘filter’ would probably be a piece of plywood that prevents ALL contaminants and all the air from getting into your the U.S. home. That’s maximum air filtration, but would also be like living in a box.

Your best bet for most systems would be a MERV 6-8. A higher MERV filter should be used subject to the advice of your Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing representative to ensure your system has the capability of moving the suitable amount of air through higher efficiency filters. You generally do not want to give up energy-efficiency for filter efficiency; you want a balance of the two. However, if your family deals with allergies or respiratory problems and a high MERV rated filter is required, consider a whole-home air filtration solution that will achieve your energy and filter efficiency needs.

Filtration has changed greatly over the past several years. Initially, home air filters were used in the furnace or air handler only to protect the comfort equipment itself. The story is different today. the U.S. area homeowners expect their air filter to save kids from a a growing list of harmful pollutants, dust mites, and even prevent the need for dusting. Dare to dream!

Savings For You

See All Offers Here >
Offer

FREE INDOOR AIR QUALITY CONSULTATION

  • Written 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
print

© 2024 Service Experts, Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, and the Service Experts logo and design are registered trademarks of Service Experts LLC and used under license by SE Canada Inc. All Rights Reserved. *Not applicable to the Advantage Program. See your signed Advantage Program Agreement for full details and exclusions. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee is subject to certain restrictions and limitations as set forth in the applicable Terms and Conditions.

Chat with a Service Experts Professional