October 18, 2021

Air Filter MERV Rating Guide

Air filters are one of the most important parts of your HVAC system. They come in a variety of designs, but the goal is the same: to capture or filter out airborne particles. Dust, animal dander, mold spores and more can negatively affect your home’s indoor air quality.

To ensure your home has clean and healthy indoor air, check the MERV rating of your air filters. MERV ratings help you compare air filters and their overall efficiency. The higher a filter’s MERV rating, the more efficient it is at trapping smaller particles! Optimizing your home’s indoor air quality is easier when you install air filters with an appropriate MERV rating.

The HVAC professionals at Home Heating & Cooling are here to help. We’ve created a guide for using the MERV rating system to improve your home’s indoor air quality in O’Fallon. Learn more about indoor air quality solutions by giving us a call at 618-416-0111 today.

What Is the MERV Rating System?

The MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating system is an outstanding tool for improving your home’s indoor air quality. It was designed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) to make comparing different filters easier.

To determine the efficiency of an air filter, ASHRAE started with the size of the airborne particles that can affect our health and comfort. These particles are too small for the eye to see, making common measurements like inches and millimeters useless. Instead, the MERV rating scale uses microns. Air filters with a higher MERV rating will be capable of capturing pollutants with a smaller micron size.

What MERV Rating Should You Use?

Residential air filter MERV ratings range anywhere from 1 to 16. Both ASHRAE and the U.S. Department of Energy recommend using filters with a MERV rating of 13 or higher to improve indoor air quality. It’s important to note that a higher rating isn’t always the best option.

You should also take your existing HVAC equipment into account. Higher ratings come from filters that allow fewer things to pass through it. This affects airflow and forces your HVAC system to use more energy to provide adequate circulation.

A technician from Home Heating & Cooling can review your HVAC equipment when comparing MERV ratings. We can recommend the air filters ideal for your current system, based on the ideal balance of indoor air quality and energy efficiency.

Here are some things to consider when choosing the right air filters for your home:

HEPA Filters Are High Efficiency

An especially effective design is the HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filter. In many cases it can trap up to 99.97% of all airborne particles, according to the EPA. The EPA recommends HEPA filters because they can efficiently capture contaminants below .3 microns in size, which includes viral particles that cause disease.

Asthma or Allergies Require More Filtration

Does someone in your home have asthma, seasonal allergies or other respiratory conditions? To best protect their health, consider an air filter with a higher MERV rating. Air filter MERV ratings of 8 or higher are encouraged. Many filters advertise a rating appropriate for breathing problems, making them easy to find.

Consider Dedicated IAQ Equipment

For the cleanest, healthiest air, many homeowners choose to invest in dedicated IAQ systems. Air purification equipment often includes powerful technology like germicidal UV lights. UV light deactivates microscopic organisms like mold spores and germs as well as other common airborne particles like dust and chemical vapor. Whole home systems also frequently include filters with a MERV rating of 15, one of the highest available for consumer systems.

Home Heating & Cooling can provide seamless installation of whole-home air purification equipment to help protect your home and family.

Trust Home Heating & Cooling’s IAQ Solutions

Whether it’s comprehensive duct cleaning or an efficient air purification system, Home Heating & Cooling is committed to improving your indoor air quality in O’Fallon. We’ll ensure you and your family can enjoy clean, healthy indoor air all year round.

To schedule an appointment, give us a call today at 618-416-0111.

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