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Air filters are great for improving the overall air quality in your space, filtering out any airborne nasties such as pollen and pet dander – so if you or anyone else in your family suffers with allergies, asthma or any other related health conditions, they can benefit from clearer, cleaner air.
What Types of Air Filter Can I Buy for My Home?
Air filters come in all shapes and sizes – as well as MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) ratings. If you or someone in your family has a health condition related to airborne particles, then generally speaking, the higher the MERV rate, the better.
An electrostatic or MERV 13 filter is either flat or pleated. The pleats on this type of filter are designed to maximize the amount of area-space of the filter so that it can work harder at processing all those motes, mites and mold spores. As a result, they’re a little more expensive than flat panels. Although affordable, they don’t offer the highest MERV rating.
What Is MERV?
There are many systems used to measure how efficient an air filter is, but the main one is the MERV system, which was developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers. MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value – in other words, how efficient a filter is at getting rid of airborne particles.
How Do They Work?
In the past, most people might have opened a window to let some fresh air in. While this can still be helpful, technology has come a long way since. These days, we have systems that can help make our homes and the air in them cleaner than ever. Most air filters work by cleaning indoor air by capturing and filtering out dust, mold, allergens and even some types of viruses and bacteria. Position your filter in any room you spend a lot of time in.
Washable or Disposable?
Washable filters tend to be slightly more expensive, though cheaper in the long-run if you consider the fact you won’t have to get a replacement. A word of warning, however: if you do get a washable filter, make sure it is bone-dry before re-installing it, as you do not want it to become moldy!
Finally, there’s HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air filters, which can remove an amazing 99.97% of allergens and pollutants from the air. These tend to be used in commercial places such as hospitals and labs – although they can also be useful if someone in your family is immunocompromised or if they have allergies.
Do I Need an Air Filter?
Before deciding to purchase an air filter, you need to decide whether you or any other people have health issues such as allergies, along with considering the dimensions of your home and whether there are any openings for air to escape through the ventilation systems. If you need advice on whether to purchase an air filter (and which type to buy), consult your local air filter technician for more information.