Picking A MERV Filter: So What Do Those Numbers Mean, Anyway?

Picking A MERV Filter: So What Do Those Numbers Mean, Anyway?

Picking A MERV Filter: So What Do Those Numbers Mean, Anyway? Peachtree, GA As you already know, living in northwestern Georgia means living with tons of airborne allergens, especially pollen. When you have trouble breathing outside, you want to make sure the air inside your home is as clean as possible. You can improve your indoor air quality by looking for air filters with high MERV ratings.

Before you look for an air filter with a high MERV rating, ask your HVAC contractor to check your system. An air filter that is very efficient can filter out a lot of dust and other small particles from your indoor air, but they can also reduce the airflow in your HVAC system to dangerous levels if you choose a higher rating than your system calls for. Your HVAC contractor will tell you whether the air filter is suited to your system and can also retrofit your system in order to accommodate efficient air filters.

  • What are MERV ratings? MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value. It tells you how well a filter removes particulate matter. That includes dust, pollen and spores, pet hair and dander, smog and combustion smoke.
  • What is an efficient MERV rating? MERV ratings are usually between 1 and 16, with 16 being the most efficient. A high MERV rating means that the air filter will catch a lot of the small particles in the air, preventing them from circulating in your home. Many air filters that are only being used in homes have MERV ratings of 1 to 4. Check the MERV rating the next time you purchase an air filter and try to get the most efficient one you can find, especially if you suffer from allergies. The best air filters usually have MERV ratings of between 9 to 12. Filters with ratings above 13 are usually used in hospitals and other environments where cleanness is paramount.
  • What else should I know about MERV ratings? It is very important to clean or replace your air filters regularly, particularly when using filters with a MERV rating of above 9. Dirty filters can reduce airflow.

Contact the professionals at Powers Heating & Airfor more information on MERV ratings and to make an appointment for a contractor to check your HVAC system.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about MERV filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Powers Heating & Air serves Peachtree, GA and the surrounding areas.  Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!      

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

1 Comment

  1. […] inspect them every month, and when they look dirty, replace them. Also, review your system’s MERV requirements – get a filter that fits your equipment and your air quality […]

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