What is the Best Low-Restriction Air Filter for Your Home?

When it comes to air filtration, MERV Rating 1-4 filters are the least restrictive in terms of airflow, trapping less than 20% of particles 3, 0-10, or 0 microns in size. These particles include pollen, carpet fibers, and dust mites. The higher the filter rating, the more particles it will capture and the higher the percentage of particles it will trap. Low-efficiency filters are usually within the MERV 1-4 range, while high-efficiency filters are those of the MERV 13 and higher. It's important to note that the MERV scale is not linear; the difference between a MERV 6 and a MERV 8 is almost double in terms of the percentage of particles captured.

Additionally, as the MERV rating increases, the filter becomes more restrictive and more pressure and energy will be needed to expel air. Pleated air filters are made of flexible materials such as polyester, paper or cotton, and have a large surface area compared to their non-pleated counterparts. Interestingly, the effectiveness of low-efficiency air filters increases as dirt and dust accumulate on the filter. Cleaning your home's air and protecting your air conditioning system can be done with one of these high-performance filters from CR tests. One consequence of a highly effective air filter is the speed with which it can be filled with contaminants and start to increase the pressure drop. Non-pleated filters are made of fiberglass or some other electrostatic material, which is randomly woven together to create a barrier through which air passes.

The oven filter is a protective layer in the oven air system, but it will eventually need to be replaced. While not the cheapest option, pleated air filters provide superior air filtration than fiberglass panel filters. The pleated air filter can protect your home from floating particles that enter your home through a ventilation system. While fiberglass filters work, pleated filters generally filter and trap small contaminants and common contaminants found in the air. According to the EPA, an effective, well-adjusted HVAC filter can also help filter indoor air when outdoor air quality is poor.

Pleatless air filters are designed to trap larger particles, which accumulate in the filter quite quickly compared to the tiny particles that pleated filters are designed for. Price-wise, a pleated air filter is technically more expensive than an unpleated one, although all air filters are fairly cheap. A pleatless air filter has a MERV rating of 2 to 4, making it considerably less effective at trapping small particles than a pleated filter. However, when it comes to protecting your home from airborne contaminants and allergens, a pleated filter is your best bet. Pleated air filters offer superior filtration capabilities compared to non-pleated ones due to their larger surface area. They also last longer than non-pleated filters since they can trap more dirt and dust before needing to be replaced.

Additionally, they can help reduce energy costs by reducing pressure drop in your HVAC system. When shopping for an air filter for your home, it's important to consider both price and performance. A pleated filter may cost more upfront but will provide better filtration over time. Additionally, you should consider your home's specific needs when selecting an air filter; if you have allergies or asthma, you may want to opt for a higher MERV rating for better protection.

Ericka Boughner
Ericka Boughner

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