How To Understand MERV Ratings
If you’re working with one of the geothermal HVAC professional service technicians from Symbiont Air Conditioning you can talk with them about how to understand MERV ratings. When we pay a socially-distant service visit (we follow all CDC guidelines for masking, disinfecting and remaining socially distant during service visits) we can explain what MERV means and how it impacts indoor air quality.
An air filter is essential to maintaining air quality in a home or commercial building. When you look at a filter – even the one in your HVAC system right now – you will see a MERV rating.
In case you missed it, here is our first article about indoor air quality and MERV ratings.
How To Understand MERV Ratings
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value is what MERV means. A MERV filter with a higher rating will capture smaller particles from the air. MERV ratings run from 1 to 20. It is a very wide range and that’s because there are a myriad of uses for the air filters. For example, the air filter in a shopping mall or a hospital need to be different than for a home or apartment.
How can you know what MERV rated filter is best for your home?
Homeowners and apartment renters should look for a filter with a MERV rating of between 8 and 13. If you use a filter that is lower than 8 – especially if you have pets in the house—it won’t capture as many particles and that can lead to poor indoor air quality.
If you go above 13, the air flow is reduced – that’s necessary to capture smaller airborne particulates – but may mean the home won’t be as comfortable as it should be. A higher rated MERV filter will also cause your HVAC unit to run longer and use more energy. Talk with one of our geothermal HVAC pros and let them know the situation in your home – pets, no pets, etc. and he or she can recommend a rating for the filter.
MERV ratings also dictate filter changes
How often do you need to change an air filter? That depends on the MERV rating. The higher the rating, the more often it needs to be changed. Why? Because the higher the rating, the more particles its capturing and the dirtier it will get.
A rule of thumb is to change the air filter in your home every two to three months.
There are occasions in which an air filter isn’t all you need to improve its air quality. Homeowners who use a high MERV rated filter may not experience air that is as clean as it needs to be.
Consider using one of these products to further improve indoor air quality.
- UV treatment products that use ultraviolet light to bond to the DNA of airborne microbes and neutralizes them. UV treatment devices can target mold and help the HVAC unit to run at peak efficiency and effectiveness.
- An air purifier that produces good oxidizers designed to seek microorganisms and render them inert and no longer harmful. Once the microorganisms are rendered inert they are converted back to oxygen or hydrogen – both harmless.
Considering an upgrade or update to your commercial HVAC unit? Give our air conditioning service technicians a call today.
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Don't miss out! Like us on Facebook or subscribe to our RSS Feed on Feed Burner and get our latest posts. Our symbiontairconditioning.com blog includes posts about topics related to air conditioning and our company. Posts about additional topics can be found on our main company blog at symbiontservice.com/blog/.