A Quick Primer on Finding the Right Air Filter

September 26, 2017

To keep the air in your Mobile, Alabama, home healthy, you’ve adopted many habits in an attempt to increase indoor air quality. Anything to keep you and your kids from falling victim to allergic reactions and asthma attacks. However, your HVAC system already has a built-in way to keep your air clean. Filters catch harmful particles before they can pollute your airflow and reduce HVAC efficiency. But not all filters are equal. For fresher air that helps you breathe easier inside your home, find the right air filter with the best MERV rating.

What Are MERV Ratings?

Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value ratings are a range of levels that indicate the overall efficiency of an air filter. The ratings range from one to 20. The higher the MERV rating, the more particles the filter will catch. Most residential air filters have a low MERV rating, sometimes four or less.

A filter with a MERV rating of four or less will remove less than 20 percent of the hazardous particles in your home. Move up to a rating between nine and 16, and the filter will remove more than 85 percent of pollutants. Filters with MERV ratings between 17 and 20 are known as High Efficiency Particulate Arresting filters. They can catch 99.97 percent of the particles.

Which Filter Is Best for You?

You may be tempted to simply find the filter with the highest MERV rating. However, the higher the MERV rating, the more the filter restricts airflow and limits efficiency and comfort.

If you can maintain your own IAQ, you probably don’t want a filter with a high MERV rating. However, if someone in your home suffers from extreme asthma, allergies or a weak immune system, it’s worth considering a HEPA filter.

To ensure your filter fits your home’s needs, you should consult an HVAC service technician for lower energy costs and improved indoor air quality. Call Keith Air Conditioning at 251-476-3610 to speak with an experienced professional.