One of the most important ways to keep your home’s cooling system running efficiently and its indoor air healthy is to change air filters regularly. A dirty filter blocks airflow and can greatly reduce your system’s efficiency. A clogged filter also can lead to premature breakdowns and early replacement of expensive cooling equipment. But you need to do more than clean or replace your filter regularly; you need to know which filter to choose.
The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) helps you select the right filter. Here’s a short guide to explain what the numbers mean for residential use. They usually are printed on the packaging, along with other information about what type of particles the filter will remove from your indoor air.
- MERV 1-4: These filters are mainly intended to protect the components of your A/C system, but they don’t remove smaller particles or do much to clean your indoor air. Their primary benefit is that as long as they’re changed regularly, they’ll allow maximum airflow through your HVAC system.
- MERV 5-8: These medium-quality filters are pleated to catch particles down to 3.0 microns in size. To put that in perspective, they will remove mold, pollen and some larger forms of bacteria.
- MERV 9-12: Filters rated MERV 9 or higher can remove particles down to 1.0 microns in size. They catch the larger mold and pollen but also remove bacteria. They are not recommended for all homes, however, because they may impede airflow and decrease system efficiency.
- MERV 13-16: The highest-quality residential MERV filters, this class catches microns down to 0.3 microns in size. They can remove tobacco smoke and odors from your home and are recommended if your home’s occupants have allergies, asthma or other respiratory issues. However, like the MERV 9-12 ratings, these filters may impede airflow.
To speak with an HVAC professional about the best MERV filter for your home, contact Mowery Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing. For over 40 years, we’ve been helping homeowners in the Greater Indianapolis area find ways to slash energy usage and save money.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
Mowery services the Brownsburg, Indiana and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!