Want to improve the filtration capabilities of your AC unit? The benefits are numerous: a high-quality filter can improve the indoor air quality in your home by removing dirt, dust, pollen, hair, and mould spores. It will also increase the energy efficiency of your system, which will prevent any premature breakdown or costly repairs. Enticed by the sound of these benefits? Then your next step is to select a filter that’s right for your system – one that is incompatible can damage your unit, hinder its airflow, and significantly reduce its lifespan. 

First, let’s cover the different types of AC filters. An important factor in assessing filters is their MERV rating or minimum efficiency reporting value. It describes the porousness of the filter on a scale from 1 to 20 – a higher value means the filter can remove more contaminants from the air. However, it also means that it’s more difficult for your HVAC system to push air through the filter. Selecting a filter that’s suitable for your air conditioner can be difficult. Check the specifications of your unit to see what the manufacturer recommends. 

A filter with a MERV between 1 and 4 is the fiberglass filter. This is the minimum filtration amount required to protect your HVAC components from dust and other particles. Disposable and inexpensive, these filters are suitable for homes without pets. Homeowners who want to increase filtration capabilities will want to choose a more heavy-duty option. Pleated filters are made of cotton folds, and have a MERV of 5 to 8. They’re a popular choice because they trap pollen and pet dander in their V-shaped pattern. Electrostatic filters, ranking 2-10 on the MERV scale, attract particulates out of the air using self-charging fibers. This allows them to trap dust and pollen without compromising airflow. Since they are washable, they can be reused more than once. Finally, for a heavy-duty option, you may want to invest in a HEPA filter, which stands for high-efficiency particulate air. Their MERV is 17 to 20, which means they can trap bacteria, asbestos, and viruses. Typically used in hospitals, these filters are suitable for those with respiratory conditions or other health concerns. But buyers beware – HEPA filters can severely restrict airflow, and so should only be used on compatible systems.

Out of all these options, how do you decide which filter is right for you? Ask yourself what is important to have filtered out of your air. If you have allergies or own pets, you’ll want a filter with a MERV that can handle these particles. Those who are sensitive to bacteria and viruses due to chronic illnesses will need a MERV of 13-20. But if you select a filter that’s too non-porous, your air conditioner may have trouble pushing air through it – this can cause damage to your system. Even with a high-end filter, you’ll still need to change it regularly or have it cleaned to ensure the best air quality inside your home. 

It’s challenging to select the right filter for your home. You may want one that can remove allergens, but without damaging your unit. To find the best filters for your HVAC system, contact air conditioning contractors in Winnipeg. Provincial Heating and Cooling can help – we have the expertise to recommend a suitable filter for your AC. Our technicians provide a maintenance service that will keep your unit running smoothly for years to come.