If you are like most people, you probably do not spend a lot of time thinking about the air filters in your home.
However, air filters can have a major effect on how well your HVAC system works. The quality of your HVAC system can affect your comfort, your health, and your electricity bill.
It is important to change your HVAC filter when you need to and get a filter with a good MERV rating, such as a MERV 13 air filters.
Table of Contents
What is a MERV Rating?
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The higher the MERV rating, the better it will filter the air.
A filter is rated on a scale from 1 to 20. A filter with the highest rating will get rid of the most dust particles and contaminants.
What kind of contaminants and pollutants are in the air?
There are plenty of things floating around in an average home. The kinds of particles in the air will have much to do with where you live and whether or not you have smokers or pets in your home. Particles found in the average home may include:
- Dust Mites
- Mold spores
- Tobacco Smoke
- Textile Fibers
- Pet Dander
Most homes have dust particles in them, which come in many different sizes. Different types of filters capture different types of dust.
What are the different MERV ratings?
Most residential systems can adequately remove airborne contaminants with a MERV rating of 7 to 12. Those with ratings of MERV 13 filters to 17 are typically found in hospitals and general surgery settings.
Filters that are rated 17 to 20 are of the very highest quality. Facilities that manufacture prescription drugs are among those that use them. They are also used in facilities that store radioactive materials.
The most basic filters are rated from 1 to 4. They are used for window air conditioners and residential furnaces and can catch particles like pet dander, sawdust, and carpet fibers.
They will capture the major particles that are 10 or more micros in size or higher. Filters that are rated from 5 to 8 will catch particles that are 3 to 10 micros like mold spores, household dust, and construction dust.
MERV filters rated from 9 to 12 are used in higher quality homes, offices, and even some laboratories.
In addition to catching all of the particles that the lower-rated filters do, a filter with a 9 to 12 rating will catch general humidifier dust, household dust, legionella, lead dust, coal dust, concrete dust, and nebulizer and humidifier dust. These filters can catch particles that are as small as 1 micron in size.
The very highest filters are rated from a 13 to a 20. can capture particles that are as small as 0.3 micros in size.
The best filter you can have in your home is a MERV 13 filters. Residential HVAC systems are generally unable to handle a filter that is of a higher grade.
You should always make sure your system can handle a better filter before upgrading. Higher quality filters are thicker, and they can cause too much strain on some HVAC systems.
A filter with a high MERV rating will reduce the airflow, which will cause the system to work harder. When your HVAC system has to work harder, your electricity bills will be higher.
You should always get a filter with the highest rating possible. If you want your home to be hospital clean, a filter with a 13 MERV rating will get you as close as possible.
Where should I buy my filter?
The best place to buy a filter is online. Filters come in hundreds of different sizes, and a company that sells filters online will warehouse many more sizes than a hardware store could ever offer. Be sure to use a company that will let you search by both size and MERV rating.
High-quality filters are not that much more expensive than economy filters. You do not have to change them as often as you would other kinds of filters, and that should offset the cost.
There are so many things that are present in the air that we breathe that can make us sick. A filter with a MERV rating of 13 is an excellent investment in your health.