When you have the right filter installed in your air conditioning system, you can expect optimal comfort, better system efficiency, and cleaner indoor air. However, not all air filters are the same, but you can use MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) to identify the right filter for your home. MERV is a rating system that shows how well an air filter can remove particles from the air.
Although not explicitly measured in the MERV system, as filter ratings go up, so does their capacity to allow air to flow through the filter’s material — which is why it’s so important to carefully select the right filter. It also can be helpful to enlist the help of a professional HVAC technician, because selecting a filter that restricts airflow could eventually cause your system to fail if it’s starved for air.
Here’s how the rating system works:
- Filters in the MERV 1 to 4 range can only remove particles larger than 10 microns. As a result, they won’t greatly impact your home’s indoor air quality, but they will allow for an efficient flow of air into the A/C.
- Filters rated MERV 5 to 8 usually use a pleated design, so there’s more overall surface space in which to trap particles. They can remove particles 3 microns or larger, while in most cases allowing adequate airflow.
- Higher-quality filters in the MERV 9 to 12 range can remove even smaller particles of 1 micron. And filters in the MERV 13 to 16 range remove particles 0.3 microns in size. However, both types will generally not allow enough air to pass through them for home use. The latter MERV range in particular is solely used in hospitals and other “clean” settings. So before you use this type of filter, consult with a professional.
Selecting the right air filter for your air conditioner is easy with MERV. If you’d like expert advice for this or any other home heating and cooling issue in northwest Ohio, contact the experts at Quality Mechanical Services today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about choosing the right filter and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
|Air Filter image via Shutterstock|