Air Filters Protect Your HVAC Equipment, But Do They Clean the Air?

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  • January 30, 2015

air filtersYou may already be aware of how important the air filter is in order for the furnace to operate correctly. This material prevents large particles of debris from reaching the furnace blower. However, did you know that traditional furnace filters aren’t meant for removing smaller particles? These particles could have a profound effect on the air quality in your home and aggravate allergies and other respiratory problems.

Some of the contaminants in your air that you should be concerned about that aren’t trapped by regular air filters, including dust mites and their debris, pollen, mold and pet dander.

Not All Filters Are Equal

Some furnace filters are better at removing smaller particles than others. Pay attention to the MERV ratings when you purchase filters. The minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) is a standard set by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) that rates the effectiveness of air filters. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the particles the filter will block.

For example, a filter with a MERV rating between 1 and 4 may be able to trap pollen and dust mites. To block mold, dust mite debris and pet dander from being re-circulated through your home, opt for a filter with at least a rating of 5 to 8.

Another option to look for is an electrostatic filter. These filters use electrostatic energy to trap the smaller particles that may be in the air. You may save money on electrostatic furnace filters by choosing ones that can be washed and reused.

Indoor Air Quality Concerns

Poor indoor air quality is a concern for many, as our homes become more energy efficient and less natural ventilation occurs. If you or your family suffers from allergies or respiratory problems, you may want to consider installing an air cleaner that works in conjunction with the furnace.

To learn more about furnace filters, or for other home comfort concerns, contact the HVAC experts at ACS Absolute Comfort in Houston.

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