Choosing A MERV Filter: How The Numbers Add Up

When the time comes to change your air filter, you want to choose the best possible product. One size won’t fit all, and efficiency levels vary, which can make choosing difficult for most northern Indiana and southwest Michigan homeowners. With that in mind, let’s simplify the process by taking a closer look at the efficiency rating known as MERV, and how those numbers add up.

MERV, otherwise known as minimum efficiency ratio value, is a rating of filter efficiency. Based on tests that measure the level of efficiency with which a filter can remove particulate matter from the air, MERV gives you a clear method of comparing filter efficiency. Ratings run from 1 to 20:

  • MERV 17-20: The highest possible MERV ratings are reserved for HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters. Unfortunately, these high-powered filters are too much for most home HVAC systems to accommodate, and as such, they can cause pressure problems and restrict airflow.
  • MERV 13-16: While HEPA filters remove more than 99 percent of particulates from the air in one pass, these filters only remove around 75 percent. Of course, when you consider the constant circulation of air through the filter, this efficiency level can prove just as effective and work in areas where HEPA filtration will not.
  • MERV 5-12: Considered to be of reasonable efficiency by the Environmental Protection Agency, these filters provide a cost-effective means of improving indoor air quality and improving system efficiency.
  • MERV 1-4: Unfortunately, these low-end filters are the disposable filters found in most home HVAC systems. While they do provide a cost-effective means of system protection, they can do little in the way of improving your air quality.

While these numbers will give you a better means of comparing filter options, don’t hesitate to consult a professional for assistance. Our trained technicians are always standing by to serve your heating and cooling needs. For more information, contact Home Comfort Experts of South Bend today.

Home Comfort services the Mishawaka/South Bend areas of Indiana. Visit our website to see our special offers to get started today!

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