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High- or Low-Efficiency Air Filter – Which Should You Use?

There are so many different types of air filters available, it can be difficult to select the best one for your A/C or heat pump. However, choosing the right type of filter for your system is essential in achieving maximum efficiency and the best air quality in your Charlotte-Mecklenburg area home. It’s especially important to choose the right air filter if you’re a smoker or your home is prone to other pollutants.

You always want to choose the highest efficiency air filter your A/C or heat pump can handle. For the most part, high efficiency air filters remove allergens and pollutants better while reducing energy costs as well. In contrast, low efficiency filters allow more dirt, dust and debris into the system, which then circulates back throughout your home. Not only is this unhealthy, but it places undue strain on your system that can lead to costly damage.

Ironically, as low efficiency filters become dirtier, they outperform high efficiency filters. However, while waiting for the filter to achieve this beneficial effect, dirt and debris are constantly being re-circulated throughout your home. Additionally, it’s possible for your unit to experience a pressure drop and burn out the motor.

High or Low Efficiency Air Filter?

Air filters are rated according to the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) system. Ratings range from  1 to 20. Low efficiency filters have a value of 1 to 4, medium efficiency between 5 and 13, and high efficiency values range from 14 to 16. High quality HEPA filters are rated between 17 and 20.

Generally, the more efficient the air filter, the better air quality you’ll achieve. Keep in mind, though, that all filters aren’t compatible with all systems. If you’re having trouble selecting the best filter for your system, let the experts at Ross and Witmer help. We proudly serve homeowners in and around the Charlotte area.