The air filter is critical in your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC) operations. The filter cleans the air you breathe and ensures debris doesn't clog the HVAC and impair its functions. Thus, the HVAC system should always have the right air filter. Below are factors to consider when choosing an air filter for your home.
Air Pollution Sensitivity
Some people are more sensitive to air pollutants than others. For example, those who suffer from respiratory ailments experience heightened symptoms when they breathe contaminated air. Those who suffer from allergies also need cleaner air than others.
Choose a high-efficiency air filter if you are highly vulnerable to polluted air. Look for an air filter that targets the specific pollutants you are vulnerable to. For example, if you are allergic to mold, get an air filter that removes the maximum possible mold spores from the air.
Nature of Pollutants
The type or nature of pollutants in your area or home should also guide you. For example, you should get an air filter that kills microorganisms if you have an invalid with an infectious disease in your household. That way, you minimize the risk of germs spreading in your home. A high-efficiency filter with an ultraviolet (UV) function may fit such a household.
On the other hand, you can use a mechanical filter with moderate efficiency if you are only worried about dust. For example, that might be the case if you have a construction zone near your home.
Concern for Energy, Heating, and Cooling Efficiencies
The HVAC air filter affects energy efficiency because it determines the ease with which air flows through the filter. For example, extremely efficient mechanical air filters have tiny holes that trap the tiniest particles and restrict airflow. The restriction partly occurs because the air filters get dirty faster than other air filters.
Don't choose an air filter with the highest efficiency in the market if you don't need super clean air and worry about energy efficiency. Such restrictive air filters also affect heating and cooling since the air they restrict is what you need to heat or cool your home.
Air filters come in different budgets, just like other HVAC accessories. For example, washable air filters require a higher initial investment than single-use air filters. Fortunately, most air filters are relatively affordable.
HVAC manufacturers are working hard to fine-tune air filters and develop new designs and features. Talk to your HVAC contractor for a deeper understanding of air filter options.