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Understanding MERV Ratings

Understanding MERV Ratings

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This rating refers to the effectiveness of an HVAC filter. It indicates how fine the filter’s material is and what it will remove from the air. The higher the number, the more effective the filter is at stopping small particles. However, you don’t always want to use filters with the highest MERV rating for your home in Annapolis, Maryland.

What Ratings Tell You

MERV ratings tell you how many particles a filter effectively removes from the air with each pass through it. Filters with a rating between 1 and 4 can stop particles 10 microns in size and larger with a 60 to 80 percent arrestance. These offer minimum filtration and are primarily residential in use.

With a rating between 5 and 8, filters can stop particles 3 to 10 microns with 80 to 95 percent arrestance. These filters are better for residential use. A MERV between 9 and 12 stops particles as small as 1 micron in size with 90 to 98 percent arrestance. Professional consider these a superior residential filter.

Finding the Right Rating for Your System

While some filters erat higher than 12, these are not suitable for most residential systems. Choosing a filter that’s compatible with your home’s HVAC system is important. Check your current filter to see its current rating. Then talk to your HVAC service technician if you’re looking for an effective upgrade.

If you choose a MERV rating that’s too high, you may find that your air conditioner or furnace simply doesn’t have the power to pull air through the fine mesh. This will decrease efficiency and can ultimately damage the system. As a result, you’ll pay higher repair and energy bills. HEPA filters, though the most efficient for air filtration, are not compatible with a standard residential system.

If you’re looking to improve your indoor air quality, consider a whole-home installation like an air purifier or air cleaner. Contact our professionals at Coastal Heating & Air Conditioning Co., Inc at 410-919-0110 to learn more.

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