Mechanical air filters work on a basic principle: a filter composed of media (usually a mesh of randomly arranged fiberglass strands) traps particles that attempt to pass through it while allowing airflow to continue with minimal resistance. An air filter that correctly matched and installed in an HVAC system can remove more than 99% of the contamination passing through the ductworks and prevent it from entering the rooms of a building.
It is important to highlight the word “matched.” There are many different types and strengths of air filters, and if the wrong one is installed in a home, it will end up restricting air flow and putting immense pressure on the heating and cooling system. If you are interested in installation of air filtration in Middlesex County, MA, you must rely on professionals who can find a filter that is the best match for the HVAC system so you will enjoy cleaner air without your AC and heater suffering a plunge in efficiency. The indoor air quality experts at Basnett Plumbing & Heating can help see that you receive quality filters installed in your home that do exactly the job you require.
The “trouble” with HEPA air filters in homes
The most well-known type of mechanical air filter is the HEPA filter (High-Efficiency Particulate Absorption filter), which is widespread throughout commercial buildings, hospitals, airlines, and other public facilities. For a filter to quality as a HEPA filter—at least according to U.S. government standards—it must remove at least 99.97% of the particles that attempt to pass through it.
This sounds fantastic on paper. In practice, a HEPA filter is usually far too powerful for use in homes. The thickness of the fibers in these filters will choke off residential air conditioners and heaters, causing a large drop in comfort while spiking energy costs.
What type of filter works best with homes? In general, filters that score a MERV rating between 4 and 12. MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) measures the minimum particle size that a filter stops. HEPA filters have MERV ratings of 13 or greater, which means the minimum particle size they trap is 0.3 microns. A filter with a MERV rating of 4 is the sort you might find inside a residential window air conditioner. For an average-sized home, a filter with a MERV rating of 8 is often the best choice.
However, you should never attempt to guess what type of filter will work best for your house. Call on experts to take on this job so that you will get the best of both worlds: clean air and an efficient HVAC system.
Basnett Plumbing & Heating has many years of experience with installation of air filtration in Middlesex County, MA and throughout the MetroWest area. Contact us today!