Discover the Surprising Benefits of Using a High MERV Rated Air Filter

Are you searching for ways to improve the air quality in your home or office? Look no further than a high MERV rated air filter. These filters offer numerous benefits that may surprise you, such as reducing allergens, improving indoor air quality, and increasing the lifespan of your HVAC system.

By opting for a higher MERV rating, you can trap more particles and pollutants in your air filter. This means you'll breathe cleaner air and reduce the risk of respiratory issues, such as allergies and asthma. With a high MERV rated filter, you'll also reduce the amount of dust, mold, and other harmful particles circulating in your home or office.

Plus, by keeping your HVAC system running efficiently, you'll save money on energy bills and prolong the lifespan of your equipment. It's a win-win situation for your health, wallet, and environment. So why not give a high MERV rated air filter a try and experience the benefits for yourself?

What is a MERV rating and how does it work?

Have you ever wondered how an air filter can keep your indoor air clean? The answer lies in the filter's MERV rating. A MERV rating is a standard measurement of how well an air filter can trap airborne particles, including dust, pollen, bacteria, and viruses.

The MERV rating system ranges on a scale from 1 to 20, with 1 being the lowest and 20 being the highest level of filtration. The higher the number, the better the filter is at trapping airborne particles.

The MERV rating system measures the effectiveness of an air filter based on particle size retention by testing filters with particles ranging in size from 0.3 microns to 10 microns. The test is conducted by introducing the particles into the airflow, and the filter traps them, and the percentage of particles removed from the air is calculated.

So, when you see MERV ratings on air filters, it's important to know that a higher MERV rating means a more effective filter. It's essential to match the MERV rating with your specific needs to make sure that you're selecting the right filter to keep your indoor air clean and healthy.

In conclusion, knowing the MERV rating of your air filter and understanding how it works can help you make informed purchasing decisions and maintain better indoor air quality.

The Benefits of a High MERV Rated Air Filter

When it comes to indoor air quality, using a high MERV rated air filter can make a significant difference. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, which measures the filter's ability to trap small particles. Essentially, the higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter is at capturing pollutants.

A high MERV rated air filter can capture pollen, dust, pet dander, and even bacteria and viruses. This is especially important for those who suffer from allergies or respiratory problems. By trapping these particles, the air filter can reduce symptoms and improve overall indoor air quality.

However, it's important to note that high MERV rated air filters can also restrict airflow. This means that your HVAC system has to work harder to push air through the filter, which can put more strain on the system. It's important to find a balance between efficiency and airflow when choosing a MERV rated air filter.

In addition to improved indoor air quality, using a high MERV rated air filter can also save you money in the long run. By trapping particles, the filter can prevent them from building up in your HVAC system. This can increase the lifespan of your system and reduce the need for costly repairs.

Overall, choosing a high MERV rated air filter can provide numerous benefits for your home's indoor air quality and HVAC system. Just be sure to consult with a professional before choosing a filter, as the MERV rating must be compatible with your specific HVAC system.

How to Choose the Right MERV Rating for Your Home or Office

Choosing the right air filter for your HVAC system can have a significant impact on the air quality in your home or office. There are several factors to consider when selecting a MERV rating, including the size of your HVAC system, the number of people in your space, and any specific air quality concerns you may have.

For homes and small offices, a MERV rating of 8 to 13 is typically recommended. These filters provide adequate filtration for most homes, capturing a variety of airborne contaminants like pollen, dust, and pet dander. However, if you have a larger household or higher occupancy, you may want to consider a higher MERV rating.

For larger commercial buildings, a MERV rating of 14 to 16 may be necessary. These filters provide a higher level of filtration, capturing smaller particles like bacteria and viruses. If your building has specific air quality concerns, such as high levels of outdoor pollution or respiratory issues, consider using a MERV rating higher than 16.

It's essential to remember that higher MERV ratings mean higher filtration efficiency, but they also mean more airflow resistance. This increased resistance can cause HVAC systems to work harder, leading to higher energy bills and more wear and tear on the system over time.

In summary, when choosing a MERV rating for your air filter, consider the size and occupancy of your space and any specific air quality concerns you may have. Higher MERV ratings provide better filtration but may lead to increased energy costs and system wear and tear.

The Importance of Regularly Replacing Your Air Filter

Using a high MERV rated air filter is a great way to improve the air quality in your home, but it's important to remember that these filters still need to be replaced regularly. Over time, your air filter will become clogged with the very particles it was designed to capture, making it less effective at filtering out harmful pollutants and irritants.

To ensure that your air filter is always working at its best, it's recommended to replace it at least every three months. However, if you have pets or live in an area with high levels of pollution, you may need to replace your filter more frequently.

Ignoring the need to replace your air filter can lead to a number of issues, including reduced air flow, lower efficiency, and even damage to your heating and cooling system. Additionally, a dirty air filter can result in poor indoor air quality, which can impact your health and wellbeing over time.

By making sure to replace your air filter regularly, you can help preserve the lifespan of your HVAC system, improve your indoor air quality, and enjoy the full benefits of a high MERV rated air filter.

Other Ways to Improve Indoor Air Quality Beyond Using a High MERV Rated Filter

While using a high MERV rated filter is an effective way to filter out harmful pollutants and allergens from the air, there are other simple steps you can take to further enhance indoor air quality.

1. Regular Dusting and Vacuuming: Dust and dirt can accumulate in your home and circulate in the air. Dusting and vacuuming regularly can help reduce the amount of these particles in the air that you breathe.

2. Use a Dehumidifier: High humidity levels can promote the growth of mold and mildew, which can negatively impact indoor air quality. Using a dehumidifier can help control moisture levels and prevent mold growth.

3. Ensure Proper Ventilation: Proper ventilation is important for fresh air circulation and to prevent stagnant air from building up pollutants. Opening windows, using an air exchanger, or installing exhaust fans can help achieve this.

4. Avoid Indoor Smoking: Smoking indoors can release harmful chemicals and pollutants into the air. It is important to avoid smoking indoors to maintain good indoor air quality.

5. Avoid Using Harsh Chemical Cleaners or Air Fresheners: Cleaning products and air fresheners can contain harsh chemicals that can negatively impact indoor air quality. Consider using natural cleaning products or try making your own using non-toxic ingredients.

By taking these simple steps, you can further improve indoor air quality and promote a healthier home environment for you and your family.

The Bottom Line

Switching to a high MERV rated air filter is an investment in your health and comfort, as well as a wise financial decision. The benefits of improved indoor air quality cannot be overstated, from reducing allergy symptoms to fighting off harmful pollutants that can cause serious health issues. In addition, a high MERV rated filter can extend the life of your HVAC system, saving you money on repairs and replacements. So, don't wait any longer to upgrade your air filter and start enjoying the many benefits it provides!

Frequently Asked Question

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value - a scale created by ASHRAE to measure the effectiveness of filters in removing different sized particles. For example, a MERV-13 filter is designed to catch 90% of particles 3-10 µm in size, 85% of particles 1-3 µm in size (PM2.5), and 50% of particles 0.3-1 µm in size. Generally, filters with higher MERV ratings are better at catching higher percentages of particles, including the smaller ones.

When you install a filter in the airstream, it will create resistance. The amount of resistance depends on the type of filter material and the amount of area it covers. Standard fiberglass filters don’t generate much resistance, though it increases as the filter gets dirtier. To remove more pollutants from the air, you can use a filter with a different material such as a high MERV filter. These filters have smaller pores, which allow them to catch more pollutants, but also create higher resistance.

The problem with this is that the blower and furnace are only designed to handle a certain amount of pressure drop. Too much resistance means the air flow is low, making the heat exchanger get hotter and potentially crack. On the plus side, low air flow can result in better dehumidification in humid climates, as long as the air flow isn’t so low that it turns the condensate to ice.

So, the answer to the question is: yes, higher MERV filters are better, but you need to find the right balance between air flow, resistance, and effectiveness.

Air filters are designed to capture airborne particles, which can be anything from dust and pollen to mold spores and bacteria. The filter works by drawing air through itself and trapping the particles in the web of fibers that make up the filter.

What are the types of air filters

There are many different types of air filters available on the market. The type of filter you need will depend on the specific needs of your facility. Some common types of air filters include MERV, HEPA, activated carbon, and ultraviolet (UV) germicidal irradiation.

MERV: MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. MERV ratings range from MERV-0 to MERV-16. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter is at capturing particles.

HEPA: HEPA filters are a type of air filter that is designed to capture very small particles. A true HEPA filter has a MERV rating of 17-20.

Activated carbon: Activated carbon filters are designed to remove gases and odors from the air.

UV germicidal irradiation: UV germicidal irradiation is a type of light that is used to kill bacteria and viruses.

There are pleated filters and panel filters. MERV 13 filters are pleated, while MERV 16 filters can be either pleated or panel. Pleated filters have more surface area because they are made up of multiple layers of filter media. The pleats create more space for the air to flow through, and the more layers of filter media there are, the more particles can be captured.

HEPA filters are usually pleated, but they can also be panel.

What are the differences between MERV 13 vs HEPA filters

While MERV 13 and HEPA filters both remove particles from the air, they work in different ways.

MERV 13 filters are designed to remove particles that are larger than 0.30 microns, while HEPA filters are designed to remove particles that are smaller than 0.30 microns. MERV 13 filters are often used in commercial and industrial settings, while HEPA filters are often used in hospitals and other medical settings.

MERV 13 filters are more efficient at removing large particles from the air, while HEPA filters are more efficient at removing small particles from the air. MERV 13 filters can remove up to 99.97% of particles from the air, while HEPA filters can remove up to 99.99% of particles from the air.

MERV 13 filters are less expensive than HEPA filters, and they can be used in a wider variety of settings. However, HEPA filters are more effective at removing small particles from the air, and they can be used in settings where MERV 13 filters cannot.

MERV and HEPA filters both work to capture airborne particles, but they do so in different ways. MERV 13 filters are designed to capture particles larger than 0.30 microns, while HEPA filters are designed to capture particles smaller than 0.30 microns. MERV 13 filters are more efficient at removing large particles from the air, while HEPA filters are better at capturing small particles. 

MERV 13 filters are less expensive and can be used in a wider variety of settings, but they can only remove up to 99.97% of particles from the air. On the other hand, HEPA filters are more expensive but can remove up to 99.99% of particles, making them ideal for medical settings. In short, MERV 13 filters are great for everyday use, while HEPA filters are better for specialized environments.

Your HVAC system includes a furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump. It's essential to keep these systems clean and efficient by regularly replacing the air filters. To do this, you'll need to know about MERV ratings.

The air filter in your HVAC system serves two key functions: it protects your system from dust, and it helps clean the air in your home. When the filter is clogged, dust can build up in the system, and the equipment may overheat and fail.

How often the air filter needs to be changed depends on your home's size, where you live, and if you have pets. Inspect it every month, and replace it when you can't see the filter material through the dust.

When choosing an air filter, refer to the specifications of your HVAC system to determine the size. The MERV scale is used to measure the filter's ability to remove particles from the air, and ratings range from 1 to 20, with lower ratings meaning lower-quality filters.

Remember to balance air cleaning with air flow when upgrading your filter to a higher MERV rating. Too dense of a filter can cause air flow restriction and harm your system. Ask your HVAC technician for advice when in doubt.

Replacing the air filter is easy. Open the blower compartment located between the air return and the furnace or air handler. Put the used filter in a plastic bag, then insert the new filter with the arrows pointing in the direction of the airflow.

MERV 11 filters used to be thought of as air flow restrictors, but this is no longer necessarily the case. Home Energy's 2009 experimental test concluded that the pressure drop of high-MERV filters isn't as severe as it used to be. If you're renting and don't have any special needs, then a standard, cheap fiberglass filter with a cardboard frame is fine to use every three months. But if you own your home, then it's worth investing in a more durable filter.

Pleated filters with more pleats per foot are the better option and should be more effective at improving indoor air quality. However, the price can be an issue. A standard 16x25x1 11 MERV filter will cost around $5, but you can save a bit if you buy them in packs of 12. Filtrete, Purolator, and Nordic Pure are all trusted brands.

If you plan to buy washable filters, be aware that cheaper models may have loose filter media after washing and won't perform as well. Disposable filters are also more hygienic since they remove all the dirt from the air. Keep in mind that the more pleats per foot, the better the filter will be.

So, when it comes to MERV 11, the issue of air flow restriction isn't as big as it used to be. With the right filter, you can improve your indoor air quality without having to worry about a pressure drop. Make sure to replace your filter every three months for the best performance.

MERV ratings are used to compare filters to determine which is most effective for eliminating pollutants in a home or office. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) developed the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) system to measure how well an air filter captures common airborne particles. There are 16 MERV values, ranging from 1 to 16, and the efficiency increases with the MERV number.

Filters are tested against 12 size ranges of particles, with the smallest being around 0.3 microns and the largest around 10 microns. To give a sense of the size, a micron is one millionth of a meter and a strand of human hair is approximately 75 to 100 microns.

The MERV rating is determined by measuring the particle count upstream and downstream of the filter being tested over six intervals, beginning with a clean filter. Afterward, a special ASHRAE test dust is added for five additional measurement cycles. The filter’s performance is determined by calculating the particle density before and after passing through the filter, and then assigning a MERV rating.

The MERV 8 filter is the most common filter in the U.S. Understanding how MERV ratings work can help you understand why it's so popular and how to choose the most beneficial filter for your needs.