Home air filters are one of the best ways to keep indoor air clean and healthy. Since pollution is responsible for 94% of all respiratory ailments, it is worthwhile to ensure that your home’s various filters are sized properly, positioned securely, and replaced adequately frequently to allow them to function optimally.
Air Filters Capture More Than You May Expect
Everyone knows that air filters are designed to capture dust, but most people are unaware of what dust actually contains. Dust is made up of:
- Small bits of dirt
- Pet and human dander (dead skin cells - and did you know that the average person sheds 700,000 dead skin cells per day?)
- Mold spores
- Toxins released by common household cleaning products
- Small fibers from carpet, furniture and clothing
Many of these particles are food to hungry dust mites - nearly 40,000 dust mites can be found in a single ounce of dust! - and dust mites are common asthma and allergy triggers.
Whole house filters, air filters, and furnace filters are designed to capture this debris commonly found within a home. Unless captured by an air filter, dust mites, dander, pollen, mold spores, and toxins are all pushed out into the air and inhaled, reducing the ability of your lungs to function properly and increasing the likelihood of respiratory illness. This means that your air filter needs to be frequently replaced and also well-fitted to your specific unit. Since a snug fit is necessary for efficient and effective functioning, it is critical that the size be exact. Using ill-fitting or clogged air filters can increase energy bills by 70% and allow allergens and toxins to pollute indoor air.
Do You Need A Higher MERV Rating?
MERV ratings are the industry standard for air filter efficiency, ranging from 1 to 16. FilterBuy recommends that most residential homes and commercial buildings should seek an air filter with a MERV rating of 6-8 to maintain clean indoor air. Higher MERV ratings are reserved for specialty buildings, and the highest HEPA filters are generally only used in hospitals.
If you think you need a higher MERV rating because a family member has a respiratory illness, be sure to first make sure your HVAC system can handle it. Sometimes the denser weave of a higher MERV rating reduces air flow and puts a strain on the system.
Not All Air Filters Are Created Equally
Inexpensive fiberglass filters may make regular replacement more affordable, but they are so loosely woven that they don’t catch smaller particles. Lower-quality fiberglass products have the lowest (most inefficient) MERV ratings of any filter, which is simply not adequate to capture the majority of indoor pollutants. Accordingly, FilterBuy does not sell, manufacture, or even recommend fiberglass.
Air filters are manufactured by the same companies that make Trane and other HVAC systems as well as by specialized third-party aftermarket companies like FilterBuy. While some people think that buying OEM (original equipment manufacturer) filters are the best for their HVAC system, keep in mind that many aftermarket manufacturers also offer added features such as odor blocking, a custom fit, easier-to-replace designs, and recurring order discounts. What is more, some top-quality aftermarket filters, like our brand, are actually better and more affordable than OEM products!
Bottom line: do your homework to find out the best type of air filter for your needs, and if it means spending a few extra dollars per month, you can enjoy the peace of mind that you are giving your family the gift of clean indoor air. Contact FilterBuy today to learn more about how air filters can protect your family from indoor pollution.