Ask the Expert

We have certified environmental consultants and experts on staff to allow us to provide our customer’s unparalleled advice and service. We understand that a key ingredient in having a healthy indoor environment is having proper air filtration. When we sit down with our customers, one of the most frequently asked questions is, what filter should I be using in my home or office? They might also ask something like, “My heating and air conditioning company says I should not use pleated filters because it may cause my system to fail, is this true?” Here is the truth:

As your environmental consultant, we have found that if you are suffering from allergies, then you need to be using the most efficient filter you can find. These filters will range in efficiency from a MERV rating of 2 to 16. The MERV scale runs from 1 to 16. MERV stands for “Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value” and it basically means that the higher the MERV rating, the greater percentage of particles captured on each pass through the filter.

If the filter is rated a MERV 2, this might be a cheap fiberglass filter (it will look cheap and flimsy and will typically have a blue fiberglass composition). You can also purchase a more efficient filter that will have heavy pleats, and is typically allergy free or hypoallergenic. Our recommendation is to use the highest-level MERV filter that your system will allow. This means that your air conditioning system might not be able to handle the more efficient or MERV value filter, because it also creates higher static pressure. The static pressure is related to the amount of work the fan has to perform to deliver air throughout your house. If your static pressure is too high, then you will not be able to bring the proper amount of air across the evaporator coil within the air handler. In essence, you will be starving the evaporator coil of needed air, which could freeze up the component. This will cause compressor problems or coil leakage. The question then becomes how do I know if my house can handle a higher efficient filter?

The best way to decide if your house could handle a filter with a higher efficiency value would be to install a filter with a higher rating than usual, and assess whether or not you experience a physical whistling sounds coming from your system. If so, then you know your filter is too strong for your system. This is a great way to quickly test your system. Also, your unit manufacturer might have recommendations as to what filter is best or most appropriate. For those people who do not suffer from allergies, we recommend using a basic pleated filter (MERV 4 or 6). The pleats will work better with your system, and make sure it stays as clean as possible so that it operates as efficiently as possible. You can visit, for more information on available filters.

If you suffer from allergies and want more information on higher efficient filtration options, then call on us for a free evaluation and we can walk you through the high efficient filters that are available to you.