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Are you buying the right air filters for your home?

So why do some air filters cost a couple of bucks while others are four or five times more expensive?

NORFOLK, Va. — Air filters are something most of us have to have for our homes to function properly.

They grab dust and debris, keeping your HVAC system clean and working at its best.

If your furnace filters haven’t been changed in a while, that’s more stress you’re putting on your system, and that translates to higher utility bills.

What’s a little more confusing is why some filters cost a few bucks and others are four or five times more expensive.

Experts say one thing to always factor in is what’s called a "MERV" rating. It’s usually on a scale from 1 to 20, and it stands for "Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value."

All filters have one, and it essentially determines how efficient they are at picking up particles; the higher the number, the more efficient they are.

Filters with higher MERV ratings are also typically more expensive.

For most of us, the pros recommend sticking with a middle-of-the-road MERV 8 filter. It costs less and will still do the job you need it to do.

But if you have several pets and kids, or maybe someone in your family has asthma, you may want to consider splurging on a higher-rated filter.

Whichever you choose, make sure you’re changing them as recommended, typically every three months.

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