HVAC Air Filters
There are many kinds of air filters in the HVAC and housing industry. An air filter is often made from fiberglass, a pleated paper or cloth material. This material is usually encased within a cardboard frame and may have various kinds of design supports built into it. The goal of any air filter is to remove dust, pollen, mold, pet fur, contaminants and bacteria.
A professionally installed air filter, used correctly, and maintained can increase the efficiency and life of an HVAC unit. Ultimately, the filter can reduce your out of pocket expenditure if cleaned or replaced at regular intervals.
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value(MERV) is a standardization system rating arrived at by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers(ASHRAE). This rating system informs the consumer of the efficiency of air filters. A higher rating indicates a higher efficiency and therefore increased indoor air quality for you and your family.
MERV 1-4 are common filters that provide a basic level of filtration.
MERV 5-8 provide good filtration and are the most often used in home dwellings. They are often made of pleated cloth or paper.
MERV 9-12 are mid-range filters of higher quality than MERV 5-8 and can capture molecules and particulate matter 1 micron or larger.
MERV 13-16 are high efficiency filters that can capture contaminants from 0.3 microns or larger.
It is important to match the type and rating of air filter to your HVAC tonnage and overall system. There are filters that have a higher MERV rating than 16. However, their efficiency rating is directly related to the density and thickness of the material functioning as the filter. If this material is too dense, it can decrease the ability of air to flow freely and will impact the effectiveness of your HVAC system.
A practical pleat filter is a high performance (MERV 11-14) filter. It is built with a gasket that not only fills the gaps between the filter and its holder, but protrudes into the duct work creating an even stronger seal. The seal created by this kind of filter helps to maintain its effectiveness and its MERV rating.
Practical pleat filters have an extended surface area that is greater than other filters which expands its ability to catch and control contaminants traveling through the ducts. In addition, the lifetime of this filter is four times greater than other filters.
The practical pleat filter will prevent air from escaping the ducts and prevent air by-pass. Overall, this filter will serve to enhance the effectiveness of your HVAC unit and decrease the stress placed on various parts when the seasons call for the air to be conditioned.