When you replace your furnace filter, have you ever wondered what exactly a MERV rating is or why it’s important?
What is a MERV rating?
MERV, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value is a standard that rates the overall effectiveness of air filters and tells you how effectively your filter traps particles. The higher the filter’s MERV rating, means the finer the filtration and the fewer contaminants and dust particles that can pass through it.
Why does MERV rating matter?
Some of the common particles that filters are tested for include pollen, dust mites, textile and carpet fibers, mold spores, dust, pet dander, bacteria and tobacco smoke. We recommend installing a filter with at least MERV 11, though it is becoming more common to install a filter with MERV 16.
Sometimes, when you have a less efficient filtration cabinet system, using too high of a MERV filter will actually cause damage to the heating system, because these high MERV ratings restrict too much airflow. Make sure to ask your service technician when he cleans your furnace each year.
This is NOT what your furnace filter should look like!
Why is a furnace filter important?
As you can see in the photo above, your filter catches unwanted dust, dirt, pet dander and particles. You need to replace it at least once a year, as well as have annual furnace maintenance. The filter above is an example of what you don’t want in your home!
When your filter has a high MERV rating, you know it will be effective in preventing pollen, bacteria and pet dander from circulating throughout your home. One thing to be aware of though is that it might be too effective in preventing air itself from circulating, which means more resistance and more work for your HVAC system. If the filter you are using is not compatible with your heating system, inefficiency and high energy costs may be the result and if your HVAC system is overworked, you may end up with costly repairs.
When purchasing a new filtration system for your heating system, it is recommended to speak with an HVAC professional.
For more information, contact Northern Air 669 HEAT and we will be happy to answer any of your questions.