What type of air filter is best for my home?
Home, sweet home. Your home is your palace. It's the best place on earth where you and your family can feel comfortable and secure, protected from the outside world. Shouldn't your palace have the cleanest and healthiest indoor air possible for you and your family to breathe? I know your answer is, Yep! So read below for the best air filter for your home.
The best air filter for your home is a pleated air filter. These air filters come in one inch deep (thick), two inches, four inches, and five inches. While there are better filters, like HEPA filters, they are not suited for a home furnace or air handler. Among the pleated air filters, the five-inch air filter is the best because it has more surface area. The five-inch filter can capture more dust particles while maintaining lower air resistance than the others. It will also last a lot longer before needing replacement.
Depending on your system you may be limited to a certain size filter. For instance, your furnace or air handler may only take a one-inch filter. In a case like this you should get the most efficient one-inch filter available. You may also have the option of installing a filter cabinet that will hold a five-inch filter.
If your air filter goes into a wall grille or ceiling grille, you may be able to install a four inch or five-inch-deep grille air filter provided you have enough room behind the grille. You will need at least six inches behind the grille for the four-inch grille filter and seven inches for the five deep filter. This is so that you allow enough space for the deeper filter without overly restricting the airflow.
Another good option is a carbon or charcoal filter. All the filters mentioned above are also made of carbon. Carbon is a great option because you get MERV 10 filtration while also capturing harmful gases and foul odors. Some people do not realize that there are all sorts of harmful gases (Volatile Organic Compounds) floating around in their homes. These gases come from cleaning agents, pesticides, toilets, paints, pet odors, cooking odors, smoke, and many other sources. According to Lee S. Newman, MD, MA, Distinguished Professor, Director (CHWE), when these gases go unfiltered they are inhaled by you and your family members and can over time damage lungs, poison your cells, cause allergies, and make you sick in many other ways. The Environmental Protection Agency agrees with his findings.
One final point. Whatever filter you go with, you should opt for a filter with a MERV 13 rating or a carbon filter. MERV 13 is the most efficient air filter in capturing dust, mold, pollen, etc. Millions of MERV 13 air filters have been sold by the industry without any equipment problems. Carbon filters have a lower MERV rating than the MERV 13, but they perform a dual function, eliminating microscopic particles while trapping harmful gases and foul odors. Besides providing you with cleaner, healthier air these filters will keep your equipment and home cleaner.
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