Can the Type of HVAC Air Filter You Use Affect Your Home's Indoor Air Quality?

The air quality inside of your home can have a tremendous impact on your family's health. But keeping your indoor air healthy means more than managing ventilation—the type of air filter your HVAC system uses can also have a sizable impact on the cleanliness of your home's air. If you or your loved ones suffer from respiratory issues and want to keep your air free of allergens and toxins, you'll want to check out the following.

Different Air-Filter Types Offer Different Performance

All air filters might initially look the same, but they offer vast differences in filtration performance. Take fiberglass air filters, for example. With their loosely-woven strands and relatively thin construction, these filters are usually designed to provide the bare minimum in filtration performance. These air filters are extraordinarily affordable and widely seen in a wide variety of HVAC systems.

Polyester and pleated filters are a step up from fiberglass filters. These filters use a variety of synthetic materials that feature more intricately woven fiber strands than their fiberglass counterparts. A typical pleated air filter performs far better at trapping dust and various allergens than similar fiberglass air filters.

High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are at the top of the performance heap, providing superior filtration performance due to their ability to trap even the smallest of airborne particles. However, there is a catch: these filters have such high air resistance that residential HVAC systems often require an upgraded blower fan motor and a custom enclosure to ensure adequate HVAC performance.

Upgraded Air Filters for Better Indoor Air Quality

You can easily improve your home's indoor air quality simply by upgrading your current air filter to one that offers better filtration performance. In most cases, this is as simple as replacing your current fiberglass filter with a pleated counterpart or switching to a pleated filter with a higher minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating than your current filter offers.

However, you can only upgrade your air filter so much before you hit the point of diminishing returns. Switching from a MERV 8 to a MERV 15 pleated filter may net you better filtration performance, but the better filtration comes at the expense of constricted airflow due to the increased air resistance. There has to be a balance between filtration performance and air resistance if you want to maintain your HVAC system's optimal performance while improving the air quality in your home.

Talk to a company such as Tailor Made Maintenance Inc to find out more.