If you want to improve the air quality of your home, you need to choose the best filter for the job. And this means looking at the MERV ratings and understanding what they mean. Check out this guide to air filter MERV ratings and you can pick the filter that will give you the air quality you want.
The Importance of Indoor Air Quality
Before you learn about MERV ratings, you should understand the importance of indoor air quality. Most Americans spend their days indoors. However, the pollutants indoors are between two and five times higher than they are outside. If you’re sensitive to pollution, then the particles in your inside air could cause you health troubles.
Certain homes are more naturally susceptible to pollution. For instance, some energy efficient buildings lack ventilation. This leaves the air trapped indoors with nowhere to go. Synthetic furniture, pesticides, and cleaning agents can also diminish the quality of your air.
You don’t have to let your health suffer. The right air filter can trap the majority of particles floating in your air. When your HVAC system takes in air, the filter catches the dust and other particles. But some air filters have large pores and allow small particles through. By understanding how MERV ratings work, you can learn which filter is the most effective.
What is the MERV Rating?
A MERV rating stands for the minimum efficiency reporting value. As a rating system, it notifies individuals about the efficiency of air filters. High ratings mean smaller pores and more efficiency at filtering the air. Meanwhile, low ratings indicate inefficiency and large pores.
The scale starts at one and goes all the way to 16. Air filters get divided into three categories. First, there are the low-efficiency filters. These don’t do much for keeping out small particles. Secondly, there are the medium-efficiency filters. These filters usually rate between 10 and 13. Typically, this type of filter does an adequate job of taking dust and other particles out of your air.
Finally, there are high-efficiency filters. These filters aren’t common in homes or apartments because they have small pores. Due to their size, they limit the air flow. Your HVAC system needs to work harder to maintain a steady temperature.
Getting the Proper Fit
If your filter does not have a tight fit, the MERV rating is irrelevant. There should be no gaps in your filter, or large particles can pass through it.
A Balance Between Air Flow and Efficiency at Removing Particles
When you’re purchasing a new filter, don’t look for the highest MERV rating. Instead, look for one in the seven to 13 range. If you want better airflow and a lower energy bill, choose a rating on the lower end of the scale. But if you have allergies or concerns about pollutants, you should opt for a value closer to 13.
If you have questions about finding the right filter, you can speak to an HVAC professional. They can explain more about the MERV ratings and they can advise you on finding a filter. You can also go to a reputable online source for all of your filter needs.