Do Better HVAC Filters Make a Difference? An Expert's Guide

When it comes to the health and comfort of your family, friends, and other guests, it's important to get the most efficient air filter you can afford. Not only do filters allow people to breathe easier, but they can also reduce odors and make your home a more pleasant place. But when it comes time to replace it, does it really matter what type of filter you choose? Aren't all filters basically the same?The answer is no. Different types of HVAC filters can make a huge difference in the quality of air in your home.

Understanding the different types of home air filters is the first step to getting the best indoor air quality you deserve. The general rule of thumb for many HVAC professionals is “the cheaper the better” when it comes to furnace filters. However, these basic filters are not always the best option for improving air quality. Medium-efficiency MERV filters such as the Nordic Pure MERV 12 can greatly reduce airborne dust, mold spores, pollen and even smoke, and doing so can help alleviate respiratory ailments, according to a review by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

An electrostatic air filter is another option that is washable and uses static electricity to capture particles. The value of an electrostatic filter is that it captures smaller particles than a standard washable filter and is completely reusable. However, these filters usually cost significantly more than basic fiberglass filters. Pleated filters are also an option for improving air quality in your home. These high MERV filters are great for filtering debris and cleaning the air in your home, but they reduce the air pressure in your duct system.

Compared to the cheaper basic filters available, pleated filters do not have to be changed as often - just once every three months instead of once a month. If you really want to purify the air in your home, consider adding an air purifier. In its most basic function, an air purifier removes impurities such as dust, pet dander, or even bacteria from the air that flows through the system. Not only does this improve the air quality inside your home, but it also protects your HVAC system from potential damage. When it comes to choosing the best air filter for your oven (or central air conditioning unit), there are several factors to consider. The recommendation of fiberglass air filters by HVAC technicians is due to the number of homeowners who do not change their air filters regularly.

While you should refer to the instructions for your HVAC system and your specific filter for maintenance guidelines, you should generally change filters at least every season, if not once a month. The right HVAC filters can make the difference between clogged air full of contaminants and clean air that is healthy and easy to breathe. And if you want to ensure that you're getting the most out of your filter, consider investing in a higher-end permanent filter that can compete with disposable pleated filters that reach MERV 12 or higher.