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Choosing the Right Air Filter for Your Home

January 24, 2024

When it comes to maintaining the air quality in your home, selecting the right air filter is a crucial decision. Not only does it impact the health and comfort of your living space, but it also plays a significant role in the efficiency and longevity of your HVAC system. In this post, we will guide you through the key factors to consider when choosing an air filter, and introduce you to the advanced technology of polarized-media air cleaners, particularly the SolaceAir air cleaners.

Understanding Air Filter Ratings

The effectiveness of air filters is typically measured by their MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating. This scale ranges from 1 to 16, with higher numbers indicating a filter’s ability to capture smaller particles. While a higher MERV rating means better filtration, it’s crucial to choose a filter that your HVAC system can handle without reducing airflow efficiency.

Consider Your Equipment Needs

Your choice of air filter should also depend on your specific household needs. If you have pets, allergies, or respiratory issues, opting for a filter with a higher MERV rating can be beneficial. However, remember to balance this with your HVAC system’s requirements. When considering larger width 5” filters for your HVAC system, it’s important to note that these filters require a larger filter rack due to their size. This means that if your current system has a standard-sized rack, an upgrade may be necessary to accommodate these thicker filters. However, the investment in a larger rack is often justified by the enhanced air filtration and efficiency these filters provide, leading to improved air quality and system performance in your home.

1″ Pleated Filters: A Convenient and Efficient Option

1″ pleated filters offer a convenient and efficient option for many homeowners. These filters will need to be changed every 1 to 3 months.

These filters provide several benefits:

  • Compatibility: 1″ pleated filters are designed to fit into standard filter racks, making them a versatile choice for most HVAC systems without the need for modifications.
  • Effective Filtration: Despite their smaller size, these filters can effectively capture a wide range of airborne particles, including dust, pollen, and pet dander, helping to improve indoor air quality.
  • Balance of Efficiency and Airflow: With a pleated design, these filters offer a larger surface area for trapping particles while maintaining proper airflow through the HVAC system.
  • Convenience and Availability: These filters are widely available and easy to replace, making them a convenient choice for regular maintenance.
  • While they may not have the same capacity for particle removal as thicker filters, 1″ pleated filters are an effective and practical solution for many households, offering a good balance between filtration efficiency and ease of use.

Some things to consider when purchasing filters:

  • Avoid the box store MERV 12 and up 1” filter. These filters can be damaging to the system and can reduce the system’s efficiency by restricting airflow.
  • If you can see through the filter, that filter is no good!

5” MERV 11 Filters

5” filters are recognized for their high-efficiency filtration, capturing a substantial amount of airborne particles, including dust and pollen. They are designed to maintain optimal airflow, thereby enhancing indoor air quality. We sell both Totaline and Trion Air Bear 5” filters.

  • High-Efficiency Filtration: With their high MERV ratings, these filters excel at capturing a significant amount of airborne particles, including dust, pollen, and other allergens.
  • Enhanced Indoor Air Quality: By effectively removing airborne contaminants, these filters contribute to a healthier indoor environment, crucial for households with allergy sufferers or respiratory issues.
  • Improved Particle Capture: These filters are adept at trapping smaller particles, including mold spores and pet dander.
  • Optimal Airflow: The 5″ thickness allows for a larger filtration surface, aiding in maintaining efficient airflow.
  • Increased Longevity: Typically, these filters have a longer life than thinner 1” filters, ensuring consistent performance.
  • Versatility: Suitable for various settings, they cater to both residential and commercial needs.

Polarized-Media Air Cleaners: A Game Changer

Now, let’s delve into the world of polarized-media air cleaners. These advanced air cleaners, such as the SolaceAir air cleaners we install, use electronic polarized-media technology to achieve maximum air cleaning capability. They are particularly adept at removing the smallest submicron particles, which are often absorbed into our lungs and bloodstream, triggering asthma attacks and allergy symptoms. The air cleaner is installed in your existing 1” filter rack and there are conversion kits if you have a larger filter rack.

How Polarized-Media Air Cleaners Work

These air cleaners operate using a safe, 24-volt current to establish a polarized electric field. As airborne particles pass through this field, they adhere to the media. What’s remarkable about these air cleaners is that their efficiency increases as they load. This means they offer exceptionally high efficiency with air resistance much lower than that of expensive disposable filters.

Benefits of Polarized-Media Air Cleaners

  • Highly Effective Particle Removal: They capture even the smallest particles that traditional filters might miss.
  • Reduction in Allergens: Ideal for those suffering from asthma or allergies.
  • Odor and Gas Control: Effective in neutralizing odors and gases, contributing to a fresher indoor environment.
  • Cost-Effective: Lower air resistance means less energy consumption and lower utility bills.


Choosing the right air filter involves understanding your specific needs, the capabilities of your HVAC system, and the level of air purification desired. Whether it’s the advanced technology of polarized-media air cleaners, the reliability and filtration of a 5” MERV 11 filter, or the balanced efficiency of a 1” pleated filter, there’s a solution for every home. Call us today at 574-289-6511 for more information or to schedule an appointment.