The short and easy answer is: the air filter that works best for you. If you are good about changing your air filters on-schedule, you give your AC system regular maintenance (twice a year), and no one in the home suffers from allergies, then a normal fiberglass filter is probably fine. These are the inexpensive filters you pick up for about a dollar each at the hardware store. As long as you change them once a month, you’re good.
However, depending on your needs, there are other types of air filters that may be best for you.
Choosing the Right Air Filter Based on Your Needs
There are two main situations where it makes sense to get a different kind of air filter. They are:
- For convenience: Switch to a polyester air filter. Polyester filters work just like the regular fiberglass filters, except they last much longer before they wear out. Specifically, whereas a fiberglass filter lasts only 1 month or so, a polyester filter will easily last 3 months. And in many homes you can get away with waiting up to 6 months to change them. This makes for easy “twice a year” filter changes: once at the start of AC season, and once at the end.
- For allergies or asthma: Allergy sufferers will want to pay attention to the MERV rating on their air filter of choice. A MERV rating simply refers to how many particles the filter can screen out, and how small of particles it’s capable of catching. Filters are rated on a scale of 1 to 20, but most home air filters are rated between 1 to 12. If you have allergies or asthma, get a filter with a rating of 9, 10 or 11. These catch 90% of particles down to a single micron in size, capturing almost all irritants that could affect allergies or asthma. If you have allergies, sure you stick to the most frequent recommended schedule for replacing your specific air filter. Allergy sufferers may want to go a step further and install a home air purification system, which Ambient Edge can help with.
There is one third option, though it’s not as common. If you want to reduce your home’s footprint on the earth, you can also buy reusable filters. These are filters you simply wash once a month, rather than throwing out and replacing.
If none of the above situations apply to you, then the inexpensive fiberglass filters are a perfectly good choice.
The air quality experts at Ambient Edge can answer your questions, help you resolve allergies and energy efficiency issues, and make smart recommendations for your home. We offer AC & furnace maintenance, air purification product installation, and much more. Give us a call at 888-628-5890 or fill out the form to your right and talk to a professional today.