What are the Different Types of HVAC Filters to Choose from?

Many Atlanta, GA, homeowners are shocked to find out that the indoor air quality in their homes is two to five times worse than the outdoor air. Volatile organic compounds, dust, dander, pollen and biological contaminants are just a few of the types of pollutants in a typical home. HVAC filters provide the first line of defense against poor indoor air quality. There are four main types of air filters, and here are the details on each of them.


Flat-panel HVAC filters are typically made of fiberglass media held together with a cardboard frame. They have the lowest minimum efficiency reported value (MERV) ratings of all filter types, but they’re the least expensive. Their MERV ratings are one to four. These filters are good for homes with healthy occupants and no furry pets.


Pleated HVAC filters have MERV ratings ranging from five to 16. They can capture pollen and pet dander. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, you should check and replace flat-panel and pleated filters every one to two months. Using your heating or cooling system with a dirty filter could lower its energy efficiency by up to 15%.


High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters have MERV ratings of 17 or higher. They capture tiny particles, such as most viruses and all bacteria. They can also capture vapors and aerosol droplets. However, most residential heating and cooling systems aren’t compatible with HEPA filters. They reduce airflow, which could cause a problem for the heating or cooling system’s efficiency and performance.


Some heating and cooling systems have reusable filters. These filters are typically made from metal, such as aluminum or stainless steel. Some reusable filters are made of cardboard with synthetic fibers that can be washed. Reusable filters need to be washed once each month during the heating or cooling season.

For more information about the different types of air filters for heating and cooling systems, contact us at Comfort Atlanta Heating & Air today.

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