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What Filter Is Right for My AC? Understanding MERV Ratings

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June 15, 2017

What Filter Is Right for My AC? Understanding MERV Ratings

What Filter Is Right for My AC? Understanding MERV Ratings

Like many other homeowners in Jacksonville, you probably pay minimal or no attention at all to the replacement parts used on your heating and cooling system. This is particularly the case for the homeowners who hire trustworthy clean air professionals Jacksonville, FL area, such as the ones we have at Weather Engineers, Inc. However, you still need to know which replacement parts are used on your HVAC system by these professionals. One of HVAC parts and components that are regularly replaced is the air filter. While choosing the right air filter for your heating and cooling system, you need to consider the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating on the replacement filter. This rating is a measure of how effective that particular filter is at removing particles in the air passing through it. Throughout this article, our experts will help you understand this rating; hence choose the right air filter for your HVAC system.

Do You Know Your Number?

MERV ratings on replacement air filters range from 1 to 20. While this is the case, the commonest of air conditioner replacement filters are the ones within the range of 1 to 4. This does not mean that these are the right air filters to use in your system. We have worked with homeowners who use filters with a MERV rating of even 8 in typical HVAC systems. Before deciding which rating is best for your system, you should refer to the system’s documentation. This should mention the maximum MERV rating filters that may be used on your heating and cooling system. Using filters of higher rating than the maximum MERV rating stipulated by the manufacturer will lower the efficiency of your system on energy and cause other repair problems on the system.

Do You Need More Filtration?

You should also consider whether you need more filtration in your home. For instance, do some of your family members suffer from asthma or allergy? Are there shedding pets in your home? If yes, you are going to need a filter of a comparatively higher MERV rating. With these two main considerations, you should be able to determine the right filter for your home, with regards to their filtration efficiency. Air filters with a rating of 1 to 4 can only trap large particles, including dust, pollen, insects, mites and carpet fibers. If you need more filtration, these are not the best filters for your home. Filters with a rating of between 5 and 8 will trap finer particles, such as mold spores, aerosols, pet dander and fine dust particles.

Replacement filters with a rating of between 9 and 12 are not commonly used in residential HVAC systems. When used, such filters can trap welding fumes, automotive emissions, larger bacteria and lead dust. This is probably the highest air filter rating you will need in Jacksonville this summer. Our expert clean air professionals Jacksonville, FL area will help you select the right MERV rating for you home and replace it. If you are confused on which replacement air filter to buy, give us a call today at 904-503-7710 for professional assistance.