Although often overlooked, air filters are vital to the air quality and energy efficiency of your home. Not only do they filter out dangerous contaminants, but they also aid your furnace or air conditioning in performing at peak levels. Hence, which air filter is the right one for you? By following a few simple rules, you’ll find the perfect air filter to improve the air in your Pennsylvania home.

Choosing the Right MERV Grade

An air filter’s MERV rating, also known as the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, determines how well an air filter removes contaminants from the air. The higher the rating, the more dust it removes. When choosing the best filter for your home, go with the filter rated for your specific system that the manufacturer recommends.

There are four basic types of air filters: fiberglass, pleated, high-efficiency, and true high-efficiency particulate. These filters have a MERV rating from one to 20. A fiberglass air filter usually has a MERV rating between one and four and removes only about 10 percent of dirt. In contrast, a true high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, typically used in commercial applications or hospitals instead of residential HVAC systems, has a MERV rating 17 to 20. It can remove up to 98 percent of invasive debris.

Cost Considerations

Each aforementioned air filter comes with a different price. Fiberglass air filters often cost $1-2, but are generally reserved for rental properties, as tenants replace them monthly. Pleated air filters, which are most common, usually have a range of prices from $8-20. High-efficiency filters cost around $30, while HEPA filters are $50 or more. If you find that energy bills don’t change regardless of the filter you use, you may want to also consider an HVAC inspection to see if your air filter is the problem.

Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

An alternative to these four filters is a reusable and washable air filter. The advantage of these filters is that you only need to plop down about $25 and can reuse the filter for several years. This cuts down on the waste traditional air filters make and saves tons of money over time.

Choosing the right air filter is important not only for saving money, but also for your family’s well-being and health. However, air filters are only a small portion of the HVAC system. That’s why it’s important to consider maintenance agreements, such as the ones offered by Custom Aire, to ensure the efficiency of your HVAC. Contact them today at (215) 638-1800.