Most technicians recommend that you change the air filter in your HVAC system every 1-3 months, although this number can change based on how often you use your HVAC equipment and whether or not you have pets in the home. When it does come time to change your air filter, you might reach for the cheapest filter that fits into your HVAC system.
This means, however, that you might be missing out on an opportunity to get better filtration to help your family members as the allergy season is in full swing. Below are our recommendations for finding a better air filter. However, we also suggest that you should contact a technician before you buy, especially if you want the opportunity to have even cleaner air with a whole-home air filtration system.
Choosing a Filter
Not all filters are designed in the same way. A filter has two primary functions: to clean the air and to protect the air conditioning and heating systems from debris that could get sucked in and damage the system. As long as an air filter is powerful enough to stop the particles that can damage an air conditioner or heater, it may be sold on shelves.
However, some of the worst contaminants for your allergies, asthma, and any other respiratory or immune system issues you might have, are the smallest ones. Pollen, pet dander, and other allergens and irritants might still get through the filter and blow back into your home.
Look for a filter with a higher MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) for better efficiency—perhaps a MERV of around 5 or 6, rather than the standard 1-4. However, keep in mind that if the filter is too powerful for your AC system, it might block air from getting in! Call a technician before making the switch.
Whole-Home Air Cleaners
You can also add a supplementary air cleaner to your HVAC system so that your air filter gets help dealing with the toughest contaminants, like viruses and bacteria. An electronic air cleaner ionizes particles so that they cling to a set of metal plates in the system, and this is highly effective for many homes. UV lights kill and sterilize the microscopic living organisms that make you sick. Contact a local HVAC technician for more information.
Boehmer Heating & Cooling provides air filtration services in Upper St Clair and the surrounding areas. Call our friendly staff for exceptional customer service.