Air filters are designed to remove harmful substances and pollutants, such as dust, pollen, bacteria, bad odor, mold, and other allergens from the air. These toxins can be harmful to our lungs and overall health if inhaled.
Indoor air can be contaminated yet the particles will hardly be visible, so the best way to eliminate them is to regularly purify the air. However, air purification can only be effective depending on the type of air filter you use.
The main issue is that there are so many options available on the market so choosing the right one can be a daunting task for many people. As such, this 2020 air filter buying guide will highlight some of the factors that you should consider to help you make the right purchase.
1] Type of Air Filter
There are different types of air filters that you can consider for your HVAC system. There is more than one specialized website out there that can help you choose the right filter for your home, but before starting your search, you should know that air filters, AC filters, and furnace filters are essentially the same thing.
They only differ in terms of size. Among other factors, the type of air filter that you should get depends on the type of contaminants you want to remove from the air inside your home. For example, an ionic air cleaner will be ideal if you want to get rid of fungi, dust, pollen, lingering smoke, pet dander, as well as mold spores in your house.
An air purifier with a carbon filter, on the other hand, is ideal for removing fumes, gases, smoke odors, and unpleasant smells, while an air filter with ultraviolet (UV-C) light is good for eliminating viruses and bacteria from your home.
2] Air Filter Material
The material of the filter can have a bearing on its efficiency and performance. Some filters are pleated while others are made of fiberglass. Pleated air filters can last longer, typically between 3-6 months, depending on the household filtration needs as well as the size of the filter.
These filters can also trap about 85% particles from the air and they are comparatively more effective than fiberglass filters, which can trap a smaller amount of air particles. Fiberglass filters are also less durable as they can last for about 30 days only.
3] Size of the Air Filter
You also need to choose the right size filter that will fit in your air purifier at home. If there is no specific filter size printed on the unit, you can use a measuring tape to measure the width, depth, and length of the unit. Alternatively, you can take the original filter to the shop so that you buy the right one.
4] AC Filter Ratings
While many people overlook the rating of the AC, it plays a very crucial role in determining the efficiency of the air purifier. For example, many MERV filters carry the ratings of 8, 11, and 13.
These can trap between 85% and 98% of the particles from the air. You should opt for a filter with a higher rating because higher ratings equal higher efficiency.
5] Price and Maintenance Costs of the Air Filter
Before you buy an air filter, you should shop around and compare different air filters available on the market so that you can get the best deal. While some filters can come at higher prices, they will be well worth the money in the long run. As we have previously mentioned, some filters last longer than others and this can have a bearing on their prices.
In the same vein, you also need to have a clear idea about the maintenance costs of the air filter so that you can know how much it will take to keep it running efficiently. Some air purifiers require constant filter replacement, especially if the filters are made of carbon.
The filters can eventually get clogged by the particles they trap, and they will not be able to clean the air. The lifespan of the air filter strongly depends on the type of pollutants it absorbs. Some filters can be reusable if washed or cleaned but you need to check what the manufacturer recommends.
Again, it is also essential to know the cost of replacement filters and how often you should change them. You may also need to check if it is possible to buy the air filters in bulk. This can potentially get you a better deal and save you a lot of money.
Buying an air filter for your home can be frustrating if you don’t know how to go about choosing the right one. While there are different types of air filters available on the market, it is essential to know the key features of the different models that can satisfy your needs.
As such, you need to do some research before purchasing so that you can better understand what you need to be looking for and, accordingly, make an informed decision.
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