When choosing air filters for your HVAC systems, one of the most important considerations is the MERV rating. You need to understand what it is, how it affects your air quality, and how it impacts your HVAC system's performance. Let's get started.
What is MERV?
MERV is an acronym for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. It tells you how effective an air filter is at doing its job. A MERV rating starts at one and goes up to 16. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filter is at capturing microscopic particulates from the air.
How Does MERV Affect Indoor Air Quality?
The air in a typical residential structure can contain a number of particulates, including pollen, pet dander, bacteria, tobacco smoke, mold spores, dust mites, and even carpet fibers. A good air filter will help remove many of those contaminants.
Air filters with a MERV rating between seven and 12 can handle most contaminants in your home's air. Filters with a rating of 13 or above are usually used only in medical settings.
How Does MERV Impact HVAC System Performance?
It's important to consider how an air filter will impact the performance of the HVAC system. All forced air systems need a continual flow of clean air to run efficiently.
An air filter helps keep the air going into the system clean. However, an air filter with a high MERV rating has smaller pores for the air to get through. This can create airflow resistance. A typical residential HVAC system isn't built to handle high levels of resistance. It can put excessive pressure on the system's blower fan.
Bottom line: It's important to figure out which MERV air filter will give the system enough airflow while improving your indoor air quality. Call Fresh Aire Duct Cleaning at (818) 275-5556 for advice on which filter is best for your system.