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Are All HVAC Air Filters the Same?
Thursday, January 28, 2016
HVAC service technician replacing a residential furnace's air filter

Learn what air filters have to do with your indoor air quality.

Indoor air quality is really important, but it’s not something we spend a lot of time thinking about. The good news is there are some really easy ways to improve the air inside your home, including choosing the right air filter for your HVAC system. But aren’t all air filters created equal? Nope! A basic filter guide might help.

MERV Is Your Friend

Air filters are rated using a MERV scale, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. MERV measures the effectiveness of a filter, with a high rating (16 is the highest) being the most effective. A filter that rates high on the scale means improved health for you, cleaner air, and a more energy efficient HVAC system.

Types of Filters

There are a number of different types of air filters available. Everything from fiberglass filters, which are not very effective, to high MERV rated high efficiency filters. On the other hand, high efficiency filters can remove up to 85% of particle pollutants from your air. This will not only reduce the amount of dust in your home, but it can have dramatic effects on how you feel. Cleaner air can reduce the chance for viruses, reduce respiratory irritation and inflammation, and reduce allergy symptoms.

Choosing a Filter

Whether you choose a pleated air filter, which can trap about 45% of pollutants but is more economically priced, or a high efficiency or HEPA filter, which are more effective but a bit more costly, the best advice is to make sure you’re changing your filter regularly. Every 2-3 months your HVAC system should get a breath of fresh air with a new filter.

In order to get the most from your air filter, you need to choose one with a high MERV rating, one that fits your HVAC system, and it needs to be changed regularly. For more information on air filters and additional ways to improve your indoor air quality, contact the team at All City Heat and Air.

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All City Heat and Air came out and installed a new system for me 2 years ago. We have had maintenance contracts on the system since then. Their professionalism is what stands out to me about them. It's under a service contract so it's covered by the contract. They come out every 6 months and the price covers the life of the contract.


I would recommend family and friends to very definitely consider them, and I will use them again. They are certainly very responsive, and they have been very willing to work with me. I live in Florida, but the house is in Charlotte so they have worked through some scheduling issues and some other issues with me that have been mutually satisfactory.

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