Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV for short, is a air filter rating system devised by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) to standardize and simplify filter efficiency ratings for the public. A air filter with a higher MERV rating is more efficient. Simply stated, a MERV 13 filter will remove smaller particles from the air than a MERV8 filter.
Regardless of the manufacturer, any MERV 8, 11, or 13 air filter will perform about the same as any other MERV 8, 11, or 13 filters. The MERV rating only applies to efficiency. Additions such as carbon, Lysol anti-bacterial treatment and Arm& Hammer baking soda are value-added benefits and are not an expression of the MERV rating system.
If allergies or asthma are your concern, we suggest you choose a MERV 8 filter or higher.
A MERV rating of 13 means the air filter is 89-90% minimum efficient at capturing measured particles such as dust/dust mites, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, smoke, fungus, viruses/bacteria, and particles that make you sneeze.
A MERV rating of 11 means the air filter is 80-85% minimum efficient at capturing measured particles such as dust/dust mites, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, smoke, fungus, and viruses/bacteria.
A MERV rating of 8 means the air filter is 60% minimum efficient at capturing measured particles such as dust/dust mites, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and smoke.
Typical fiberglass throw-away filters are rated at a MERV 4 and below with a 6% minimum efficiency at capturing the measured particles like pollen, sanding dust, and larger dust particles.
Air filters collect dust, smoke, allergens, and other microscopic things that float around your home. They work very similar to a lint trap in your dryer.
Once it has trapped a certain amount, it becomes full and ineffective and gradually restricts the air flow moving through your system. This requires your system to work harder to keep you cool or warm, wasting energy, and increasing your monthly bill. As your home air filters get dirtier, they also become less effective at capturing the airborne germs and pollutants that can irritate your family’s breathing. Stuffy noses, sneezing, allergies, and even asthma are triggered. Your family inhales what your home air filter can’t handle any longer.
Many problem scan occur from not changing your air filter on regular intervals. These problems can be broken down into three major categories: health, energy consumption, and mechanical.
Most importantly, not regularly changing your home air filter can cause potential health problems for your family. Consider these facts from the EPA:
Your air conditioner filter is the primary defense to reduce and hold these health issues at bay. A quality home air filter changed on a regular schedule is a small investment for your family’s health.
It’s simple really, the harder your HVAC system works, the more energy it will consume. The more energy it consumes, the higher your energy bills. Our home air filter subscription service can save you hundreds or possibly thousands of dollars a year.
A dirty air HVAC filter of any type may result in extensive damage to the fan blower motor or compressor in your air handler. Dirt and grime accumulate on crucial moving parts causing them to fail much quicker than expected. This can be very costly and sometimes leads to a total system replacement. At the very least, your system life expectancy will be reduced significantly.
Filter life depends on the environment in and around your home and the quality of filter you have installed. There are many things to consider when determining the frequency of your filter change. Some of these are:
If any of these factors sound familiar, you’ll likely experience a quicker loading of particles on your filters and will consequently have to change it more often. A good rule of thumb is to check every month. If you can hold the filter up to a light and not see through it, it is time to change your filter.
At an absolute minimum, you should change your filter every three months. A clean air filter will also prevent dust and dirt from building up in the system, which could lead to expensive maintenance and utility bills.
Most HVAC units have the filter located as close to the blower unit as possible, in the cold air return duct. Remove the grill or box cover holding your filter in place. Simply remove the dirty filter by sliding it out and replace with a brand new one. Make sure the air flow arrow is pointing toward the blower.
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