Understanding the Difference Between HVAC Air Filters

Having a central air conditioning and heating system in your home is a great advantage, but it is important to understand the difference between HVAC air filters to ensure maximum efficiency. All filters are assigned MERV ratings, ranging from 1 to 20, but not all filters are created equal. Some air conditioning systems are not strong enough to pass air through more restrictive filters that block smaller particles, namely, those with a higher MERV or CADR rating. This can reduce airflow and cause the house to heat and cool less efficiently.

It is essential to only use air filters with the MERV rating recommended by the air conditioning system manufacturer. Air filters remove particles of different sizes from the air before the air flows through the fan and reaches the rest of the house. According to Powell, “You have invested a considerable amount in your air conditioning system and, unless you know how much pressure loss it produces and how much more it can withstand, it could end up shortening the life of your fan. By using the manufacturer's recommended Minimum Efficiency Value (MERV) filter, your air conditioning system will be better protected against dust, dirt and wear and will offer reliable, long-lasting performance.

Scheduling a maintenance visit by a professional HVAC company can ensure that all of your home's filters only help your HVAC systems work efficiently and don't harm your home's indoor air quality.”Both ASHRAE 52.2 standard from the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers and CADR ratings claim to be based on this standard, but neither company provides an easily accessible explanation of how their own ratings differ or compare to MERV. Proper maintenance of air filters, whether replacing or washing them regularly, is crucial not only to providing clean air in your home, but also for the HVAC system to function properly. If your air conditioning system uses a thicker filter (usually 4 to 5 inches and is usually mounted on the air controller), it is likely that it was specifically designed for medium-efficiency MERV filtration. Some air filters are designed primarily to protect the climate system, while others can protect the system and improve air quality.

Not only do filters remove dust allergens, mold spores, and other pollutants from the air your family breathes, they also filter out fine dirt particles that can degrade the performance of the air conditioning system itself. Consult the manual for your air conditioning system to determine the resistance of your model, or call an air conditioning technician. Although you should consult the maintenance instructions for your air conditioning system and your specific filter, you should usually change them at least every season, if not once a month. In conclusion, understanding the difference between HVAC air filters is essential for ensuring maximum efficiency of your home's central air conditioning and heating system.

It is important to use only filters with the MERV rating recommended by the manufacturer in order to protect both your home's indoor air quality as well as your HVAC system from dust, dirt and wear. Proper maintenance of these filters is also key for providing clean air in your home as well as keeping your HVAC system functioning properly.

Cora Lecy
Cora Lecy

Hipster-friendly internetaholic. Certified organizer. Subtly charming coffee fanatic. Friendly pop culture advocate. Friendly tv expert. Award-winning pop culture enthusiast.