- Residential Heating & Cooling
- Plumbing Services
- Electrical Services
- Commercial HVAC Services
- Home Efficiency Services
When it comes to maintaining your high Indoor Air Quality, it’s important to keep your filters clean. Dirty filters will work against even the highest-performing system and result in poor air quality throughout your house, which is why it’s recommended that filters be replaced on a regular basis to eliminate allergens, like dust mites and unhealthy particulates from your air.
Changing a filter is a relatively simple task, but with so many HVAC filter type available on the market, identifying the best kind of filter you should use to ensure you have clean indoor air can feel overwhelming.
A common starting point is exploring a filter’s MERV rating.
According to the EPA, Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values, also referred to as MERVs, describe a filter's capacity to capture larger particles between 0.3 and 10 microns, and can offer useful guidance in comparing different filters for your AC. Typically, the higher a filter’s rating is on a scale of 1 to 16, the more particulates it is capable of filtering out of your air.
A high MERV rating isn’t everything, though. While it sounds ideal to have a level 16 MERV filter, extreme filtration isn’t compatible with every system: what you might think you’d gain in filtration, you lose in efficiency due to the increase in static pressure on your system. The result? Poor air flow and poor air quality.
We recommend traditional filters with a MERV rating of no higher than 8 for most home HVAC systems. These will filter your house’s air effectively with no restriction of air flow. The best filters for most systems are media filters, which offer a number of advantages over traditional 1” filters:
More surface area to filter out particulates
Avoid static pressure
Create a tight seal for 100% air filtration
Don’t need to be replaced as often
The answer to this question depends on a few factors. We recommend checking the guidelines listed in your unit’s manual as a starting point.
From there, consider the number of people living in your home, their allergies to airborne contaminants, whether you have pets, how many pets you have, and other factors that come to mind related to your air quality (cooking, household projects like painting, etc.). These factors are all smart to consider when deciding how often you should change your air filters.
Not feeling confident about caring for your home’s AC filters on your own? With over 40 years experience working on Virginia homes, we are here to help with a variety of Residential Heating & Cooling and HVAC Services to help you keep your air clean and your home comfortable.