Every day, people rely on their HVAC system to keep their homes at a moderate, even temperature. However, an HVAC system does many other things besides keep your home temperate. It also helps filter your air and make it safer.
As your HVAC system draws air from outside, it also brings in outside particles that can circulate throughout your home. This occurrence is why people still get colds or allergies, even when they stay inside to avoid them.
Fortunately, your air filters help prevent this. Have you ever switched a filter and asked, “What is a MERV rating?”
A MERV rating tells how effective your air filters are at catching particles that circulate through your air. We’ll explain everything you need to know about MERV ratings in the guide below.
How Do MERV Ratings Work? Exploring the Numbering System
When you look at your air filter, you’ll notice that there’s a number on the filter. This number indicates your MERV rating. In 1987, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) established this numbering system.
The numbers run on a scale from 1-16. These ratings do something a little different from other rating systems.
Instead of telling how highly your filter can perform, it instead tells the filter’s lowest performance ability. Essentially, each rating answers how these systems function in a worst-case scenario.
How to Choose an HVAC? The Best MERV Rating
When you see a MERV filter, it may be natural to assume that you need the highest rating. It would seem that the best rating for your home is a MERV-16.
While this is an understandable idea, it’s not entirely accurate. A system with a high rating may help prevent pollen and bacteria from circulating through the home.
However, higher MERV ratings also cause increased resistance in your HVAC system. This results in additional wear and tear on your system, which can cause problems in the long run.
Why does this happen? While filters can prevent particles from floating, they also stifle the airflow in your house. This leads to weaker airflow and poorer air quality.
How do you prevent this? All you have to do is use a filter that’s compatible with your system. We’ll discuss this further in the section below.
How to Choose an Air Conditioner Filter
When you look for air filters, choose one that is compatible with your system. Typically, this means aiming for a rating that falls between 8 and 13. These mid-level ratings help your system and filter to work together harmoniously.
When you purchase your air filters, bear in mind how frequently you must replace them. You have to replace air filters more often when the filters have a higher MERV rating. You can find out more about your HVAC system filters here.
Find the Air Filter with the MERV Rating You Need
If you were wondering, “What is a MERV rating?” then we hope you’ve found your answer! These ratings help you understand how well these filters protect your home. Check your system today to see what filters you need.
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