Home Air Filtration Filter Reviews – Preview
For a home’s central air conditioning to work properly, all windows and doors need to be kept closed, and as we strive for better energy efficiency, our homes become more air tight. The down-side of this is that the toxins in our homes are trapped and are, therefore, not replaced or even diluted by clean air. The solution is twofold. One is to introduce conditioned fresh air, and the second is the ensure good home air filtration. For now, we are going look at good home air filtration. This sounds as easy as simply buying an air filter. But is it really?
The statement, “you get what you pay for”, cannot be truer than in the case of air filters. Most homeowners simply buy the cheapest type on the market. However, are they effective and what is the difference between them and the more expensive types?.
Let’s start with the hardware store cheap, single thin flat panel type, made of synthetic fibers. Only about only 10% – 20% effective, this type of filter can only capture large particles, not the very microscopic ones that are essential to keep out of your lungs. To breathe easier and to keep harmful chemical and environmental pollutants from damaging your and your family’s health, you need a more effective filter.
A better option can be identified by checking the MERV rating of the next filter that you buy. The rating, which is displayed on the product packaging, is a filter effectiveness indicator that ranges between 1 and 20. The cheap single panel model is rated only 1-4 on the MERV scale and does not trap anything smaller than dust mites and carpet fibers.
The next filter higher up on the MERV scale is a 4-6, which can trap bigger particles, like mold spores and hair spray. As one goes further up on the MERV scale, filters change from being flat panels to pleats, which allows for a greater trapping surface. The more pleats that can be counted across the filter, compared to another of the same width, the better the efficiency of the filter. A good value for money residential pleated filer has a rating of MERV 8. This type of filter does a good job of keeping the air clean while also supporting the efficient running of the home’s air conditioner.
The air in hospitals and laboratories is kept clean with heavily pleated filters that are rated 9-12 on the MERV scale, while those rated MERV 13-16 even trap bacteria. Finally, we have the MERV 17 – 20 filters. However, these highly rated filters, referred to as HEPAs, also restrict the flow of air and cannot be used with standard residential air conditioning equipment. HEPA filters are usually part of a by-pass air system that cleans the air separately, before re-introducing it back into the air conditioning air ducting system.
Besides removing dust, pollen, pet dander, tobacco fumes, mites, mold spores, VOCs, formaldehyde, small floating fiber particles and other toxins from the air so that you and your family can breathe easier, good home air filtration, using a filter with a high MERV rating will also help to lower energy bills as the air conditioning system runs easier.
I am looking forward to reviewing home air filtration filters, buttoning down their best features, how they work, what makes them green, and then providing FAQs and tips and tricks to give my readers a full understanding of these green living products.
So, please come back soon and in the meantime, check out my other Living Green Reviews and please remember to visit and support my green store, so that you can also Switch it Green, Switch it Forward.
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