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

By: Brian Schutt  |  August 14, 2017
Updated on 07/01/2019

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. Read on for more information on the different air quality filter options.

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.

Is Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality at a Healthy Level?

Different Types of Air Filters for Better 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 filtehomesensers 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.

Improve Air Quality using the Best Air Filter for Your Home

Our Preventative Maintenance Program is a great way to ensure your HVAC system uses the best air filter possible. We visit your home twice a year and inspect your entire heating and air conditioning system, including your air filter. Still unsure about the best air filter for your home? Give us a call at 317-203-8149 to sign up today!

Join Our Indianapolis HVAC Preventative Maintenance Program

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