Priority Energy snapped these comparison photos of two home ventilation air filters; the black one is from a house in downtown Chicago after 6 months of use. While an air filter won’t stay white and clean for long, a good quality one will effectively capture the tiniest dust and particulates for 4 – 6 months.  Luckily this family had a high efficiency MERV 13 filter on their ventilation system which kept their indoor air quality healthy and safe.  

It is vital to your indoor air quality (IAQ) to filter incoming air to trap harmful dust and particulates, even in ventilation systems. Chicagoland air quality, while getting better, is far from ideal.  There are many days when particulate counts are through the roof and could potentially cause lasting damage to your lungs/body.  Even on a clear Chicago day, when humidity levels are low, an AQI report of just PM2.5 still means the air is polluted.

Whether your home has an HRV (Heat Recovery Ventilation), an ERV (Energy Recovery Ventilation), a ventilating dehumidifier or a simple fresh air intake to the return ductwork on your furnace; a good quality air filter is a must.  Priority Energy’s IAQ specialists recommend a MERV 13 (or higher) air filter which will trap nearly all PM2.5 airborne particulates and filter the incoming air before it mixes with the existing air in your home.

Ventilation in residential and commercial buildings is an ICC energy code requirement for today’s tighter construction. Fresh air circulation prevents indoor air from becoming stale and accumulating high levels of carbon dioxide, VOCs and other harmful contaminants.  However, as seen in our photos, outdoor air needs to be filtered so potentially dangerous contaminates and harmful breathing conditions can be prevented.

Change your ventilation air filter every 4 - 6 months for the best performance. This will improve the heating and cooling efficiency of your HVAC system, control dust, reduce allergy triggers, and lower your utility bills. It’s an easy and relatively inexpensive home maintenance task that will protect your family and your investment.

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