The quality of the air in your home is extremely important to the overall health of you and your family. One of the biggest factors in improving indoor air quality is the efficiency of the air filter you have in your home’s heating and air conditioning system. However, not all air filters are created equal — and determining their efficiency can be confusing.
When looking to improve furnace filter efficiency, consider these ratings:
- MERV: MERV, or minimum efficiency reporting value, is the industry standard for evaluating the efficiency of an air filter. MERV uses a scale that ranges from 1 to 16, with 16 being the highest-rated filter. However, MERV should not be the sole deciding factor when choosing a new filter for your furnace.
Pressure drop: Pressure drop tells you how a particular filter will impact the airflow of your system. Air filters with higher pressure drops will actually make your system work harder to force air through the filter. This will increase the amount of energy needed and will ultimately raise your utility bills. Look for filters with a low pressure drop rating in order to ensure maximum airflow.
- Efficiency: The efficiency of an air filter will tell you how well it is able to block a variety of harmful particles, such as dust, pollen, mold, etc. The more efficient an air filter is, the better it will be able to remove smaller particles from the air.
- Initial efficiency: Initial efficiency shows how well a filter performs when it is new. This is not the best rating to use, as your filter will only be new for a short period of time.
- Sustained efficiency: Sustained efficiency is a better measure of filter performance than Initial efficiency. It will tell you how well a filter will maintain efficiency over the duration of its life.
If you are struggling to select the right filter for your furnace, contact the professionals at Smoky Mountain Heating & Air.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
Smoky Mountain Heating & Air services Asheville, North Carolina and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!
Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.