Though your air filter is a small part of your home, it can play a huge role in your finances as well as overall health. There are many types of air filters on the market. Some will be ideal for certain people and not so great for others. Factors that a filter are judged by include indoor air quality (IAQ) and minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV). The IAQ of a filter refers to the overall air quality that is produced throughout your home by utilizing a particular air filter. The MERV rating defines the overall effectiveness of a filter. It is measured on a scale of 1 to 16. The higher the rating, the more particles the filter can catch. In this article, we will explore the health and financial consequences of the filters that you put into your home.
How The Design of Your Filter Can Affect Your Health
While shopping online or at a store for a filter, you may be inclined to choose the filter that offers the lowest price point. In the short term, this may seem like a great decision, in the long run, it could prove to be detrimental to your health. Below we have listed a few ways that a poorly designed filter can negatively affect your health.
– 1. Respiratory issues: Owning a filter that does not fit your specific health needs can cause respiratory inflammation which can lead to a stuffy nose, excessive sneezing, sore throat and trouble breathing.
– 2. Development of Allergies: Children are much more susceptible to to allergic conditions developing, but adults are in no way immune. Ensuring that your air filter weeds out bacteria, mold, dust, etc. is tantamount to maintaining good respiratory health.
– 3. More Severe Health Conditions: An improper air filter can lead to the development of bronchitis, asthma and neuritis.
If you are interested in learning more about the best types of air filters for your home, check out this guide.
Higher Costing Filters Vs. Lower Costing Filters
Typically, fiberglass filters cost less than pleated filters. Unfortunately, they do not last as long and are not nearly as effective as pleated filters. In addition, filters with a lower MERV rating will typically be close to the bottom of the shelf and will be appealing based on price alone. However, it is encouraged that you purchase a filter with a higher MERV rating because they are designed to filter out dangerous bacteria and even tobacco smoke. A pleated filter with a MERV rating above eight is a good place to start. In the long run, you will replace it less and experience much better health.
Which Type of Filter is Best For Me?
If you have elderly people or children living with you, there should be no doubt that a pleated filter with a higher MERV rating is the best choice for you. However, if you are purchasing a filter for a property that only houses a relatively healthy person and is typically empty, it may be okay to go with a fiberglass filter with a lower MERV rating. Consider your health and long term financial implications when choosing your filter.