What’s the Best Air Filter for Indoor Air Quality?

By: Brian Schutt  |  August 14, 2017

Air pollutants are rated in the top five environmental health risks, and many of these pollutants exist inside your home. Mold, mildew, dust and other odors that live in your house cause itchy eyes, scratchy throats, headaches and asthma. While airtight construction and home installation stop drafts and can save on energy costs, they also stop fresh air from coming inside and prevent pollution from going outside.

As a result, you have two options for improving air quality:

1. Allow clean air from the outside to come into your home to provide ventilation.

2. Use an air cleaning device, like a filter, to remove unwanted pollutants.

Here’s our take on the most common air filters for indoor air quality:

Flat-Paneled Fiberglass Air Filters

This is the most inexpensive option and these filters have a medium-efficiency rating of 1-4 for capturing airborne pollutants and a low-efficiency rating for filtering dust, dander, bacteria, and viruses. These filters are disposable and made of layered fiberglass fibers reinforced by a metal-like grating. They are very thin and have a simple, flat panel surface to trap air particles. They were originally created to protect your HVAC units, not actually to improve your air quality.

Pleated Media Filter

Also disposable, pleated polyester filters are slightly more efficient than the fiberglass filters, with a rating of 5-13, removing up to 45 percent of airborne pollutants. The pleats increase this filter’s surface area, allowing it to collect small to large particles. Pleated filters with a rating of 7 to 13 are compatible with high-efficiency particulate air filters (listed below), but are listed at a lower price point.

HEPA Filters

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration recognizes HEPA filters as the best product for cleansing airborne particles. With an efficiency rating of 17 to 20, these filters can remove up to 98 percent of air pollutants from your home. The downside with the HEPA filter is that most residential HVAC system cannot accommodate them; therefore, switching to this filter will most likely require an HVAC professional to retrofit your furnace.

If you’re interested in a product that meets many of the OSHA goals, the Carrier Performance Air Purifier is a fantastic solution that has a more narrow design allowing it to fit in more homes.

We recommend staying away from the cheap furnace filters and investing in a high-efficiency air filter with a rating of at least 8 or higher. The depleted dust mite population throughout your house won’t thank you, but your family surely will for being healthier.

Know what filter you need, purchase here. Need more about which filter is best for your home? Give us a call at 317-670-0171. We’re happy to help!

 

Brian Schutt

About 

is the co-owner of Homesense Heating | Cooling. Born and raised in Indianapolis, he loves the city and its people, and is committed to bringing a servants mindset into the heating and cooling industry. One of the ways he does that is to translate the technical language of HVAC into the manageable and understandable for homeowners.

Have a question? Tweet him and you'll get an answer promptly.

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