Breathe Easier! Your Guide to HVAC Air Filters

The air we breathe indoors can certainly be more polluted than the air outdoors. Dust, pollen, pet dander, and other allergens irritate allergies and asthma, and even make healthy people sneeze and cough.

The good news is, you can affordably and easily improve your indoor air quality and save big on your energy costs by changing out your HVAC air filter. Depending on your indoor air quality, and how often you use your HVAC system, a good rule of thumb is to change your filter every 1-3 months. If you have pets or allergies, you need to change your filter more often.

Consider this — According to the Department of Energy, the difference between dirty, clogged filters and clean filters can be 5-15% of your energy costs.

Here's what you need to know about HVAC air filters:

They trap dust, pollen, pet dander, and other airborne particles, keeping them from circulating throughout your home. This can improve indoor air quality, reduce allergy and asthma symptoms, and even help your HVAC system run more efficiently.

There are two main types of air filters: fiberglass and pleated. Fiberglass filters are the least expensive option, but they also trap fewer particles. Pleated filters have more surface area, which allows them to trap more allergens and pollutants.

MERV ratings: Stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. It’s a rating system that indicates how effective an air filter is at trapping particles. Higher MERV ratings mean enhanced filtration.

Here’s a general filter guide:
  • MERV 7-8: Trap common household dust.
  • MERV 9-11: Trap dust, pollen, and some pet dander.
  • MERV 12-16: Good for people with allergies and asthma. They can trap dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and some bacteria.
  • MERV 17-20: Highest-rated available for residential use. They can trap nearly all airborne particles.

Tips for Choosing an Air Filter

  • Consider your budget. Higher-MERV filters are more expensive. We also do not recommend them for most homes because they are “too” restrictive. As you increase the efficiency of the filter, you decrease the airflow into your home, and this puts more of a strain on your compressor. In essence, a higher MERV filter can actually act like a “clogged” filter.
  • We advise most homeowners with average-sized homes to use pleated MERV 7-8. For homes in need of additional indoor air quality assistance, we install highly effective, electronic air purification systems. These purifiers are extremely efficient at killing and eliminating 99% of toxins, germs, allergens, viruses, pet dander, dust and much more.
  • Consider the size of your filter. Air filters come in a variety of sizes. Make sure to measure your current filter before purchasing a new one.

The Top Reasons to Improve Your Air Filtration

The benefits of air filtration are clear. But when do you know if you need to be concerned about the air quality in your home?

  1. You are remodeling your home or any construction under your roof. Filters can literally clog up in one day with the debris!
  2. There is construction near your house, or major yard work taken place. Both of those can greatly increase the amount of dust (and other materials in the air) that are going through your system.
  3. You have a pet that sheds
  4. There is a smoker in the home
  5. Someone in your household has asthma or allergies—this could be a new problem or this could be an ongoing problem for this person. If it’s a new problem, it can especially signal you are having air quality issues in the home. If it’s an existing problem, you know that person is extra sensitive to particles in the air, so you want to take extra measures to be sure this person is healthy and comfortable in the home.
  1. You have a newborn, and want to give the baby extra protection against allergies or asthma.

The experts at Air Masters of Tampa Bay can give you recommendations on which filter would be best for your household. We can also help you learn how to change your filter. Remember, we have installed and repaired hundreds of thousands HVAC systems over the 40 years we have served the Tampa Bay area! Call us at (813) 234-2419.

We also make it easy to buy and change out your air filters regularly! Schedule deliveries from our convenient online store. We recommend ordering a case of filters— You are guaranteed the best pricing!! They are delivered free, right to your doorstep!

Order filters now from our online store! It’s easy, and FREE delivery!

Call us now to find out about our latest deals and government rebates.

813-234-2419 or 727-563-9880

View Specials

Let's Get Started

Trane Comfort Specialist

Top 10 Dealership in Florida

BBB Logo

A+ Rating

Google Guaranteed

Google Guaranteed Contractor

NADCA logo

National Air Duct Cleaners Association

Angi List Logo

Certified Pro

WFLA Expert Logo

Official HVAC Experts for WFLA-TV