How to Pick Your Filter

The furnace filter is often the most forgotten household item

The overall effectiveness of a filter is rated based on the Minimum Efficiency Rating Value (MERV) scale developed by The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). The MERV scale ranges from 1-20, 1 is the least filtration and 20 has the most filtration. For a better understanding of the MERV scale reference our info graph or our more in-depth chart.

**Note: Only buy filters rated with the MERV scale, other filter rating systems do not have national accreditation**

Without further adieu here are the 5 common HVAC filters along with the pros and cons of each one:

  1. Disposable Fiberglass
  2. MERV: 1-4

    Disposable Fiberglass filters are the most common filter we see in households. With a MERV rating between 1-4, they aren’t filtering much more than large dust particles and lint.

    Price: $1.00-$2.00

    Pros: Cheap, do not have to stay on top of filter changes

    Cons: Filters little to nothing, do not improve indoor air quality, terrible for homes with allergies or asthma

  3. Disposable Pleated
  4. MERV Rating: 5-8

    Disposable pleated filters are another popular choice but often cause more problems than they solve. 1” pleated filters must be changed regularly to avoid clogging up and causing a system breakdown.

    Price: $2.00 to $20.00.

    Pros: On the cheaper end of the spectrum, filters some mold spores and dust mites

    Cons: Can add extra strain and restrict airflow on your system, can decrease system efficiency

  5. Disposable 4″ Pleated Filter
  6. Merv Rating 10

    4” disposable pleated filters are typically seen on high-efficiency equipment. The installation of these filters usually requires a little ductwork rearranging. Also, the filter’s larger surface area allows for greater airflow.

    Price: $20.00-$50.00

    Pros: Filters pet dander, mold, pollen, and dust. Only requires bi-annual changes

    Cons: May need ductwork reworking to fit system, filters cannot always be purchased at a hardware store

  7. 1” Respicaire Electronic Air Cleaner
  8. MERV Rating 11-13

    The MicroClean 95 uses electromagnetic attraction to remove harmful airborne particles from your indoor air. The patented Carbon Graphite charging system has a 95% efficiency rate removing harmful particulate from your air.

    Pros: Removes particulates as small as .001 microns, helps with respiratory conditions, removes the most troublesome particulates from the indoor air – Lung Damaging Dust, Animal Dander, Pollen, Airborne Mold, Viruses, simple fast maintenance

    Cons: Only comes in 16x25x1 and 20x25x1 sizes, custom sizes don’t exist

  9. Evolution Perfect Air
  10. MERV Rating 15
    The Evolution Perfect Air uses capture-and-kill technology that rivals the filtration systems in government and hospital buildings. This system helps protect heating and cooling systems.

    Pros: Kills 99% of germs, pollen, and mold, has been proven effective against common pathogens and fungus, easy maintenance, great for homes with respiratory illnesses

    Cons: Usually requires some ductwork reworking to accommodate the size of the filter cabinet

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