The phrase “you get what you pay for” rings true for just about any purchase, especially when it comes to heating and cooling equipment. In most cases, buying the best equipment possible gives you the best results. When you look for your next air filter, you’ll want one that offers the best defense against common airborne pollutants including dust, pet dander and various bacteria.
Finding the best air filter isn’t easy, but it’s a task made easier by looking at its minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV). MERV ratings allow consumers to compare air filters based on their overall efficiency in removing airborne particles from an HVAC system’s air stream. These ratings range from as low as 1 to a high of 16 for standard filters and 20 for true HEPA filters.
The higher the MERV rating for a filter, the more airborne particles it’s capable of capturing. Here’s a brief rundown of what air filtration media are capable of at their specific MERV ratings:
MERV 1 to 4 – Common flat or panel air filters for residential heating and cooling systems. These filters can capture pollen, dust mites and other airborne pollutants more than 10 microns in particle size.
MERV 5 to 13 – Medium efficiency filters capable of capturing mold spores, pet dander, most bacteria and other airborne pollutants as small 1 micron in particle size.
MERV 14 to 16 – Higher efficiency filters capable of trapping viruses, bacteria and a broad range of other airborne pollutants as small as 0.3 microns.
MERV 17 to 20 – True HEPA filters capable of trapping 99.997 percent of airborne particles smaller than 0.3 microns.
A cheap air filter may have a lower MERV rating than your climate system was designed for, which can cause a noticeable drop in indoor air quality. Don’t hesitate to get your money’s worth by choosing a high quality filter with a MERV rating matched for your unit.
To understand more about your home’s air filtration options in the Broken Arrow area, contact the professionals at Air Assurance today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Tulsa and Broken Arrow, Oklahoma area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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