Most people spend 90 percent of their time indoors, explains the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Indoor air is two to five times more polluted than outdoor air, even in large cities. Exposure to indoor air pollution puts you at risk of respiratory infections, breathing problems and long-term health problems. Use these tips to choose the right air filter and improve the indoor air quality in your Buford, GA, home.

Select the Right Filter Type

There are three primary types of filters for heating and cooling systems. Flat panel filters consist of fiberglass stretched over a frame. They’re cheap, but they’re less effective at improving air quality. Pleated filters capture more of the smaller particles. They cost more than flat panel filters and use cotton or plastic to capture particles. Electrostatic filters are electrically charged. They capture smoke, bacteria and other particles.

Understand HVAC Filter Efficiency

HVAC filters are rated by minimum efficiency reported value (MERV). The MERV ratings range from 1 to 16. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the particles the filter traps. Higher MERV ratings also mean the filter captures more particles. A filter with a MERV rating of 16 captures 75 percent or more of particles 0.3 microns in size, so it captures bacteria, viruses, dust and mold spores. Be sure to replace HVAC filters monthly for optimal air quality and heating and cooling efficiency.

Trap Tiny Particles

High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are the most effective at improving indoor air quality, explains the Environmental Protection Agency. When properly installed in an air purifier, they capture 99.97 percent of bacteria, mold spores, pollen, dust, pet dander and other airborne contaminants. If your home includes furry pets or any of your household members suffer from allergies or asthma, an air purifier with a HEPA filter is the best option.

To learn more about choosing the right air filter and improving your home’s indoor air quality, check out Pruitt Heating & Air, Inc.’s air quality services, or call us today for additional info.

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