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  • Writer's pictureKennedy Air Conditioning

Filtering the filters: which air filter works for your system?


These days, there are a million ways to set reminders for yourself. You no longer have to rely on a post-it note if you want to remember something important. You’re likely to program your smartphone to help you remember when to have your oil changed or when it’s time to head to the dentist.

One thing you might need help reminding yourself of is changing the air filter to your heating and air conditioning system. To add to that, it can be confusing when purchasing a filter. How do you know which one will work for you and your system?

As always, you can talk with a member of our staff at Kennedy Air Conditioning of the greater Little Rock, AR area to make sure you have the correct filter matched to your specific unit, but we’ve put together a filter guide to help make it easier on you when shopping.

First off, you’ll want to know about filter efficiencies. Filters have a standard rating, or minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV), which is measured from 1 – 16. The higher the number, the more the filter works to prevent particles from getting through and building up.

  • Filters come in all shapes and sizes, but spun fiberglass filters are a good place to start. These are cheap and disposable and have a MERV rating of 1 – 4. These are excellent for minimum protection from dust and dirt, which might not be your best bet if you have allergies.

  • You can get to the next level by purchasing a disposable pleated paper or polyester filter. These come in at a 5 – 8 MERV rating, and although they cost more than the fiberglass filters, they do a better filtering job. For a price, you can also purchase a disposable pleated filter with a higher 11 – 13 MERV rating.

  • There is an electrostatic filter option, which has a wide MERV range: 2 – 10. These filters have a system of self-charging fibers that snag particles from the air. You can buy both disposable and washable reusable versions. Be warned of the reusable options, however, that they are completely dry before re-use.

  • High efficiency particulate arrestance (HEPA) filters are the ultimate high end of filtration. However, these can overly restrict air-flow, so be sure that they are absolutely compatible with your system before purchasing.

Ultimately, you want to maintain good air quality at home, and you can do so – with the right filter. For more information, contact the professionals at Kennedy Air Conditioning. We're happy to help!

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