Will a Higher-Rated Air Filter Increase your Air Quality?

A furnace uses a blower fan to pull air in from around your home. Then it moves this air past a heat exchanger before it finally enters your home. As it sucks in air, the blower fan can also bring in large particles that will damage your furnace. This is why having an air filter is so important.

By now, you probably know that you need to replace your air filter about every month or so. Neglecting to change the filter can cause clogs that restrict airflow in your system. This will in turn overwork your furnace, reduce efficiency and eventually lead to costly repairs.

The primary purpose of the air filter is to block particles from damaging the system. However, it also traps smaller particles that can aggravate your allergies or lead to respiratory issues. But does it do enough?

More than likely, your filter is a standard one that doesn’t have great filtration. Filters are rated on what’s called the MERV system (minimum efficiency reporting value). Your air filter is probably somewhere between a 1 and a 4. But the scale goes all the way up to 16!

Choosing a stronger filter will make a difference in indoor air quality. You can also upgrade to a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter. Warning: More effective filters can actually block air from moving into your system. And that will cause the same problems as a clogged filter.

Rather than upgrade your filters, add indoor air quality equipment into your HVAC system instead. An electronic air purifier can get rid of harmful particles by charging them as they move through the air, without blocking airflow. UV lights used in UV air purifiers eliminate germs and viruses by sterilizing them as soon as they move through the system.