Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Here’s What to Look for When Considering Air Filters This Winter

air filters for winterChoosing the right air filters for the winter is critical for optimum air circulation from the furnace into all rooms in your home. It’s also important to maintain healthy indoor air quality during a season of the year when most houses receive less ventilation and airborne particulates and allergens may tend to accumulate indoors.

The furnace in a typical home continuously moves at least 1,000 cubic feet per minute of warm air to all living spaces. Making sure you install appropriate air filters for winter helps ensure maximum comfort and efficiency throughout the house. Here are some guidelines to help you get the job done:

Two Common Types

Fiberglass filters are the cheapest — and least effective — option. Designed to remove only the largest particulates in the air to protect moving parts in the system blower, these filters do not maintain optimum indoor air quality. For a more effective option, choose name-brand pleated cotton or polyester filters to maximize both air filtration and system airflow.

What About Efficiency?

Air filter efficiency is rated by the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) numeral between 1 and 20. The higher the MERV rating, the more effectively the filter removes tiny air particulates. For residential applications, filters in the MERV range between 8 and 12 offer the best balance of effective filtration and maximum airflow, removing up to 90% of particulates down to a size of 1 micron. This includes dust, lint, pollen, mold spores, pet dander, and other airborne irritants.

High-Efficiency Options

Filters rated MERV 13 or above are usually not appropriate for a standard-configuration residential HVAC system. The very dense media in these filters excessively restricts system airflow. Where high-efficiency (HEPA) filtration is desired, a whole-home air filtration unit can be added to standard ductwork by a qualified HVAC contractor.

How Often Should I Change It?

During the winter heating season, inspect the filter monthly for accumulation of dust and dirt. Install a fresh filter at least every other month.

For more advice about selecting air filers for winter, contact the professionals at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company.