The Importance of Clean Air Filters for Your HVAC System

Posted: 2017-09-01

Most people believe the air inside their home is cleaner than the air outside. But the truth is, the air inside your house can be very polluted. Indoor level of pollutants can be 2 to 12 times higher than outdoor levels. These pollutants include mold spores, pollen, dust mite debris, household dust and lint, smoke, pet dander, bacteria and smog. Like most people, you surely want the cleanest air possible in your home but this becomes even more vital if anyone in your home suffers from allergies. Pets produce a lot of dander plus, every time they enter the house, they bring more pollutants with them. An HVAC system has an air filter for a reason; to filter the air so you can breathe easier.

Changing the Air Filter

Replacing a dirty air filter with a clean one can make a world of difference in the air quality of your home. It’s a change you can make yourself and it takes less than 10 minutes. Air filters prevent allergens from moving back into the airstream and they also block particles that can damage the inside of your heating and air conditioning system. All air filters have a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). Basic filters have a MERV rating between 8 and 13 but it is best to choose a filter with a higher MERV if you want cleaner air. The higher the rating the better the filter’s ability to block more and smaller contaminants. The air filter is built into the return-air ductwork of your home’s HVAC system. As long as the fan is running, the air is being filtered.

Fiberglass Filters

Some home HVAC systems use flat filters that need to be changed once a month. A common type of flat filter is the fiberglass or matted fiberglass air filter. Once they become clogged with dust, they stop working. This can cause the HVAC system to overwork. And the flat filters only capture the larger particles and the MERV rating is low, usually between 1 and 4. To keep your HVAC system running smoothly, the fiberglass filters should probably be changed more than once a month.

Pleated Filters

The most common type of air filter is the pleated filter. A pleated air filter has more material in the same amount of space as the fiberglass filter. The pleated filters usually cost a little more and do a better job of filtering the air. The more pleats they have, the better they clean the air. They usually have a MERV rating of 10 to 13.

Best Pleated Filters

High-efficiency air filters are the best pleated filters. They are more practical for most residential HVAC systems. These filters can remove up to 85% of the air pollutants from your home, some as high as 95%. They can trap very small particles of dust, mold, pollen and others. High-efficiency air filters help your heating and air conditioning system perform better, so your cooling costs may be lower. Their MERV rating ranges from 14 to 16. These filters will be more expensive, but they do not usually need to be replaced as frequently as standard air filters. They also keep your HVAC system operating more efficiently and help reduce repairs, saving you money over time.


Clean filters

It may be a chore to check and change your air filter every month, but when you understand the many benefits of having a clean filter, maybe it will be easier to remember why it is necessary. Mark your calendar to help you remember to do this task. You can even put a reminder on your smart phone.

Four Seasons Air Specialists

Four Seasons Air Specialists is ready to answer your call for all your heating, cooling and indoor air quality needs. We have been providing HVAC products and services, including AC and furnace repair in White Bear Lake MN since 1974. Whether you need maintenance, emergency repairs or if you are considering replacing your existing central air conditioner or furnace, Four Seasons Air Specialists is here for you.