What Type of HEPA Filter Should I Buy?

Are you concerned about allergens and indoor air contaminants inside your home? While there’s a lot of information about HEPA filters out there, there are still a lot of questions we get from Portland area customers about indoor air quality and HEPA filters. Many of these questions are about how to choose the right HEPA filter for their air cleaner or HVAC system. If you have further questions, feel free to give the indoor air quality experts at The Clean Air Act.

Meanwhile, here’s some basic information about HEPA filters and how you can determine which one is the most cost-effective for your home. Keep in mind that there are different ratings for the different types of materials for media filters.

Most mechanical air cleaners use some type of HEPA filter, and the efficiency of the filter is determined by how effectively it can filter the type of contaminants you are trying to eliminate from your home. While an electronic air cleaner uses an ionizer to attract microscopic particles, a mechanical air cleaner will use a particle filter to trap larger ones. The efficiency is measured by a number called the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV), and if you want a standard filter that will get the job done, look for a MERV of at least 5, or between 7 and 13 for a slightly more efficient filter.  A true HEPA filter will have a MERV between 17 and 20.

While HEPA filters are designed to remove several indoor air pollutants, such as pollen, pet hair, dust mites, mold spores, and other irritants, they are not designed for use in a home heating and air conditioning system. This is due to their size and shape, but you can find true HEPA filters for most mechanical air cleaners. Check your owner’s manual or ask your contractor when you have the air cleaner installed.

Call the Portland indoor air quality experts at The Clean Air Act with all your questions about HEPA filters. We can help by going over all the different options so that you make an informed decision.

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