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Getting To Know The Different Types of HVAC Filters

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The HVAC filters in your home’s heating and cooling system perform an essential function. They remove allergens such as pollen, dust, and pet dander from the air you and your family breathe. The filter captures these particles to prevent their recirculation throughout the residence.

An HVAC filter’s efficiency at capturing particles in the air is measured by something called a MERV rating. The higher the rating, the better it is at trapping smaller particles.

4 Types Of HVAC Filters

An air filter is crucial in protecting your system from larger particles that could cause damage. People suffering from hay fever should defend themselves from pollen and mold spores, and those who work in urban environments should do the same. Filters can be an efficient method for achieving this objective.

Always use the appropriate type of filter and have a professional technician from a reputable HVAC company like Smith Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling. The following are the various HVAC filters for residential HVAC systems:

HVAC filter

Fiberglass Filters

Disposable fiberglass filters are the most affordable type of filter. When sucking in air, they place less strain on HVAC systems and keep big particles out of your system. Additionally, these filters encourage better airflow, reducing the load on weaker systems.

However, they could be more effective at catching dust and other smaller contaminants. If you or your family members suffer from allergies or respiratory issues, this type of filter may be insufficient to alleviate or prevent these conditions. Fiberglass filters generally have a MERV 4 rating.

Pleated Filters

Cotton or polyester folds are used to construct pleated filters. They are pricier than fiberglass filters but more effective at filtering dust and other tiny particles, such as mold spores, pollen, and pet dander. Those with more pleats provide superior filtration and help avoid the recirculation of dust and other airborne particles. Typical MERV ratings for these filters range between 5 and 8.


High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are advised if you or your family suffer from allergies or other respiratory issues. They are more expensive than fiberglass and pleated filters. Still, HVAC HEPA filters are the most effective in removing up to 99.97 percent of pollen, mold, dust, pet dander, viruses, germs, and other airborne irritants.

A HEPA filter can capture particles as thin as 0.3 microns (for reference, a human hair between 17 and 180 microns in width.) This means HEPA filters can remove 99.97 percent of airborne particles, as mentioned above, when used in a filtering system.

Look for filters with a MERV 11 or higher rating. Please note, however, that the greater the MERV level, the more difficult it is for your HVAC system to draw in air. Make the necessary checks first before switching to a higher efficacy filter.

Air filter

UV Filters

UV filters are filters that may be incorporated into your HVAC system’s air purifiers. These filters eliminate viruses, bacteria, and other microbes in the air that flow through them using ultraviolet radiation. As a result, they are not as effective at removing dust and other impurities, but they are ideal if you have indoor air quality concerns that an air cleaner may address.

How Often Should HVAC Filters Be Changed

A system with a congested filter may experience a pressure drop, resulting in decreased airflow or “blow-out,” resulting in no air infiltration. Any of these factors can make the system work harder to sustain the desired temperature inside the home (depending on the season and the setting).

Most air filter manufacturers and HVAC companies advise replacing filters every 90 days or three months. This can vary based on the location of your home (e.g., dusty, dry areas), the number of pets, and the age of your system and equipment.

Consider replacing your filter every 60 days or two months if you have pets in your home and every 20-45 days if you have many pets or people with allergies or respiratory problems. Vacation and unoccupied homes often go 9-12 months between filter replacements.

The prevailing advice is that the more you use your home, the more frequently you must replace HVAC filters. If you need immediate replacement, Smith heating and air conditioning services got your back!

Smith Plumbing, Colorado Springs, Got Your Back

The variety of filters above offers homeowners and business owners options regarding efficiency, health benefits, expenses, and maintenance. Picking the right HVAC filter and maintaining it will be cost-effective and help you and your family breathe clean air.

If you’re currently searching for “Smith Plumbing near me,” you can call 719-392-4269 or visit Smith Pink Trucks for advice on which type of filter will best suit your home’s needs and requirements.

If you love this topic, check out our previous Smith Plumbing and Heating blog about signs you need air conditioner replacement.

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