Is a Home Air Filter Worth It?

Learn about the benefits of investing in an efficient home air filter and what considerations should be taken into account when shopping for one.

Is a Home Air Filter Worth It?

At its core, an air filter is designed to remove impurities such as dust, pet dander, bacteria, and other particles from the air that flows through the system. Not only does this improve the air quality inside your home, but it also helps protect your HVAC system from potential damage. When it comes to the health and comfort of your family, friends, and other guests, it's a good idea to invest in the most efficient air filter you can afford. Not only do filters allow people to breathe easier, but they can also reduce odors and make your home a more pleasant place to live.

If you're looking for an even higher level of air purification, consider adding an air purifier to your home. You'll pay more for a washable air filter because it should last for years instead of months. While this may sound like a good idea in theory, there are multiple drawbacks such as lower MERV ratings, frequent maintenance requirements, and the potential to attract mold to your air unit. Air filters are important for everyone, but especially those suffering from allergies or respiratory diseases such as asthma and hay fever.

To ensure that your home has the best air quality possible, hire a trained professional to inspect your entire system including equipment and ducts. This will help you identify any potential problems that could be affecting the air quality in your home. Contrary to popular belief, having a larger surface area on an air filter does not mean that it will be more effective. The extra surface area actually allows more air to pass through, so the HVAC central unit doesn't have to work as hard to push air through it.

Compared to basic filters available on the market, medium-efficiency MERV filters such as the Nordic Pure MERV 12 can greatly reduce airborne dust, mold spores, pollen and even smoke. This can help alleviate respiratory ailments according to an NIH review. We measure how well an air filter removes dust, pollen and smoke from the air, and we see how freely air flows through the filter at any fan speed. The quality of the air in your home is vital for both adults and children's respiratory health.

If you choose a filter with too high of a MERV rating for your HVAC system, it can create airflow problems that increase utility costs and decrease blower life in the central air unit. When shopping for air filters online, look for places that allow you to customize your quantity so you get exactly what you need. Household HVAC air filters are rated based on their MERV rating with most household filters between 1 and 13 (more than 13 are for HEPA filters). In general, any air filter will filter out particles from the air before it flows throughout the HVAC system.

This scale from 1 to 16 rates air conditioning filters based on their ability to trap particles in the air. Higher-priced filters offer greater protection when it comes to keeping your family safe from airborne pollutants. If you can find a reusable filter that captures the types of contaminants you need to filter for your family, then you could pay more money upfront but ultimately save money in the long run. If you can't find Nordic Pure in your size or if you prefer to buy a new filter in a store right away, Honeywell's FPR 9 filters and Filtrete's MPR 1500 filters are similar options that are widely available in retail stores.

Not only do filters remove dust allergens, mold spores, and other pollutants from the air your family breathes but they also filter out fine dirt particles that can degrade the performance of the HVAC system itself.

Donna Buccheri
Donna Buccheri

Food trailblazer. Hardcore tv maven. Evil bacon enthusiast. Devoted social media aficionado. Infuriatingly humble music aficionado. Award-winning beer ninja.

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