Making the air in your Columbia, Maryland, home easier to breathe is important for any homeowner wishing to maintain comfort and reduce household allergens. The good news is that choosing the right type of air filter can improve your air quality and reduce allergy symptoms. If you suffer from allergies in your home, choose the right filter by following a few simple tips.
Choose the Proper Filter
There are two primary types of filters that can aid in removing allergens from the home: mechanical and electronic. They differ in the way that they trap and contain particles to prevent them from recirculating back through the ducts into your home.
- Mechanical Filters – A mechanical filter is probably the filter you are most accustomed to seeing in homes. It uses a special screen which prevents allergens and dust particles from getting through by trapping them in the filter. If you are looking for added protection against allergy triggers, you can consider a HEPA filter which can capture up to 90 percent of particles that are over 0.3 microns in diameter.
- Electronic Filters – This type of filter uses an electrical charge to attract allergens and irritants to it. Once attracted to the filter, these particles are trapped in collection plates.
- Hybrid Filters – Hybrid filters combine properties of both electronic and mechanical filters.
Choose the Right MERV Rating
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, and it’s used to measure how efficiently a filter removes particles and allergens from the air. Ratings are from one to 20. The higher the rating, the smaller the particles that the filter will trap. This doesn’t mean that it’s always best to go with the highest rating. Ratings over 15 are typically reserved for medical facilities and not recommended for home use.
For average homes, a rating of 8 or 9 will properly remove the necessary allergens from your home, but if you have family members with severe allergies, or if you own pets, you may want to look for a filter with a rating as high as 13.
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