Do pleated air filters provide better filtration than non-pleated filters?
Pleating provides more surface area and increases the dirt holding capacity. Pleating also helps more evenly distribute the air flow over the surface of the filter. Non-pleated fiberglass filters were originally developed to protect your HVAC system, but they were not intended to significantly improve your indoor air quality.
What is the MERV rating??
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The rating is derived from a test method developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). Use the MERV rating as a comparison tool for evaluating the effectiveness of air filters. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filter is at trapping specific types of particles. It is important to understand that the higher the MERV rating, the more air restriction there is on your system. Each home must be evaluated by a professional to determine the maximum MERV that your specific system can handle.
How often should I change my air filter?
The life and effectiveness of the filter can vary depending on the individual conditions within your home. The typical guide is change the filter once a month. Unusually dirty duct work, sanding projects, numerous pets, the presence of smokers, or continually running the fan system may shorten the life of your filter. In these cases you should visually monitor and change the filter more frequently.
Additionally, using a filter longer than its designated lifespan may begin to restrict airflow and impair the overall efficiency of your furnace. Impaired airflow may also create a backpressure that is too strong for your system and could damage the system’s air handler.