Most homeowners understand that installing an air filter can help them breathe easier at home, but did you know not all filters are created equal?
In this quick guide, we explain how to find the best air filter for home use. Discover the best air filter for at home so you can keep yourself and your family healthier.
1. Know Your Terms
When shopping for the best air filter for home use, you’ll likely come across certain terms. These ratings indicate efficiency.
MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) states the filter’s ability to trap large particles between 0.3 and 10 microns. The higher this rating, the more efficient the filtration.
HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filters can potentially remove 99.97% of dust, mold, pollen, bacteria, and airborne particles 0.3 microns in size.
2. Choose the Right Type
Air filters can be made from different materials and in different ways.
Pleated air filters have more surface area and can pick up more pollutants from the air. They typically have MERV ratings between 7-13.
Traditional fiberglass air filters are cheaper but need replacing more often. This type is often thin and was originally designed to protect your HVAC system rather than improve air quality. These types can have a MERV rating between 1-4.
High-efficiency filters are the best type you can buy if you want to trap the most pollutants at home. True HEPA filters can have a MERV rating between 17-20. True HEPA filters are meant for whole-house filtration systems or used with a smaller air purifier.
3. Get the Right Size
Air filter sizes vary—you need to know your dimensions, so you don’t buy one that doesn’t fit. For instance, you might see the dimensions 16x20x1, which is the size you need.
Check the owner’s manual or look at your old filter to find these dimensions.
4. Replace When Needed
How often you need to replace or clean your filter depends on the type you have. It also depends on whether you have any pets.
Traditional air filters between 1″-3″ usually need replacing every 30-60 days. This can vary depending on whether you have allergies, pets, or more indoor air pollutants at home.
Check your filter every so often to see if it looks dirty. If it does, consider replacing it or upgrading to a better system.
Some filters are reusable and washable. Make sure you know the type you have.
5. Buy Thicker Air Filters
Certain types of air filters, such as pleated filters, have more depth to trap more pollutants. Cheap, 1″ filters may need replacing every month, where a 4″ filter may last longer and is more efficient.
Consider paying more and buying a thicker filter for better results.
Find the Best Air Filter for Home
When it comes to finding the best air filter for home, it pays to take a few seconds to learn the rating system. The higher the ratings, the more effective the filter and the less you’ll need to replace it. Opting for a thicker air filter with more surface area also improves indoor air quality much better.
Are you interested in learning more tips for homeowners? Be sure to check out the other sections on our website for more articles like this one.