We hear a lot about clean air, clean spaces, and making sure our homes are free of the contaminants and airborne junk that floats through everyone’s abode. But, we wonder, do folks know which air filters to buy? What about whether cost is a significant factor, if they should consider buying name brand filters, or how to choose the right air filters for their heating and air conditioning systems?
The good news, as it relates to air filters, is that a little education goes a very long way. And because Filter King understands that “air filter education” is important, we are providing you with guidelines and a whole lot of information you can use when it is time to get a new air filter, especially one you can trust. We understand that clean air effects everything we do and in turn, allows us to appreciate the open, inviting spaces we call home.
Choosing an Air Filter
Because your heating, cooling, ventilation, and filtration systems, referred to also as HVAC, (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) play such a key role in your life, your family’s lives, and your ability to function and breathe, air filters are truly no joking matter. The inability to breathe clean air, as well as the toll that can take on your health, HVAC system, and overall quality of
life, makes air filters a serious topic indeed.
So how will you know the right air filter to choose? Take a look at the information we have gathered to help you answer that question.
How to Choose an Air Filter
Before you purchase a new air filter, you will need to know what your system requires and amongst other things, if you can install it yourself or if you will need in home, customer support to do so.
Check Your Manufacturer’s Guidelines
Check your user manual, service guide, website, or contact the customer service department of the heating and cooling system you own.
- Verify the size of the filter your system requires.
- Determine whether or not you need a filter made by your HVAC’s manufacturer, or if any filter brand will do.
- Clarify how often, barring the extreme presence of dirt, dust, humidity, or dander, you should ideally change your air filter.
Evaluate the MPR
The MPR, or Micro-Particle Performance Rating, rates air filters based on their ability to absorb and catch dust and dirt from within your home. What makes an MPR measure so important is that it lets you know the size of the smallest speck it can collect. This information can, by extension, be very helpful for individuals who have sensitive asthmatic, allergic, or any multitude of respiratory conditions. There is however one important catch: MPR ratings were created by the 3M company and as such, are guidelines that appropriate only for 3M filters.
- If you have a 3M air filtration system, speak with your physician to determine what MPR rating would suit you best.
- Ratings range from 300 to 2800 and Consumer Reports indicates that the ideal MPR filter ranges between 1500 to 1900.
Look at the MERV Rating
There are a lot of acronyms in the world of air filters, but one of the most important is MERV, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This rating was established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) in the late ‘80s as a way to streamline and regulate air filter efficiency.
- Determine the MERV rating you need and purchase accordingly. In general, the higher the rating, the better the air filter is at catching the smallest of particles.
- As with MPR ratings, verify with your physician the best rating needed for your home and respiratory health.
- Assess the most common irritants present in your home to further determine the best MERV rated air filter.
Explore HEPA options
Consider buying a HEPA air filter, or one with a High Efficiency Particulate Arresting. These filters can help reduce how much dust and dirt blows through your HVAC system and as such, regulate how much is blown through your home.