Your HVAC system maintenance routine should include regular filter replacement.
Using the correct filters can extend the life of your system and keep
your home free of dust and allergens. How do you know which filter is
the right filter for your home?
If you examine your filters, you may find that they list a MERV rating
number. This rating indicates the effectiveness of a filter at catching
particles when air is passed through it. MERV stands for “minimum
efficiency reporting value,” and the rating on your filter indicates
how much it cleans the air running through your system. While it may seem
like you want the highest number possible, there are good reasons to use
the recommended filter for your system.
Higher MERV ratings mean a more dense material is used for the filter.
It is more effective at trapping particles, but it can be difficult to
push air through these filters. Lower-rated filters trap less, but air
can flow more freely through them. When using a system that is powerful,
a denser filter can be used, but for many homes, a lower-rated filter
can be the best choice.
Using a too-dense filter can harm your home’s system. Because it
is more difficult to push air through a highly-rated filter, it can wear
out your system more quickly, and require more frequent maintenance and
repairs. In addition to stressing your HVAC system, it also reduced your
energy efficiency, and can raise your power bills. Using the wrong filter
can cost you considerably in the long run.
Many systems allow you to use filters within a range of ratings. A lower
rating may be fine, but if your home has pets or allergy sufferers living
there, a higher rating in the acceptable range may benefit you. Consider
your needs for a system and choose your filter accordingly. MERV ratings
range from 1-20. Different settings require different ratings, such as:
MERV 1-4: Residential systems. These can filter dust, pollen, dust mites, carpet
fibers, and insects.
MERV 5-8: Commercial and industrial systems. These can filter finer dust particles,
mold spores, aerosol sprays, and pet dander.
MERV 9-12: Commercial systems and hospital laboratories. These can filter automotive
emissions, lead dust, larger bacteria, and welding fumes.
MERV 13-16: Surgical centers and smoking lounges. These can filter a range of bacteria,
smoke particles, particles from sneezing, and oil droplets.
MERV 17-20: Clean rooms for pharmaceuticals and electronics manufacturing. These can
filter carbon dust, viruses, and the smallest smoke particles.
Filters can trap a variety of contaminants, and deciding what rating fits
your needs can be difficult. Contact your local HVAC service provider
for help choosing your filters, and be sure to schedule regular maintenance
to keep your system going strong.
Contact the Murrieta HVAC service professionals at
Correy Baker Heating & Air today to learn more!