Here in the Gainesville, Florida area we run our HVAC systems for most of the year because of how hot our weather gets. It is important to change your filter regularly to ensure your system is running as efficiently as possible. So, what kind of filter do you need? When shopping for air filters there is one term that is particularly important for you to know.
A common term you will find on most filters is MERV. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and it will tell you how efficient the filter you’re looking at is. On a scale of 1-16, the higher the rating the more efficient that filter is. The air within your home is run through your system multiple times a day meaning that your air filter is extremely important. As the air is passed through your system the filter will catch airborne particles and help to clean the air.
MERV ratings of 1-4 are the lowest possible type available. These are the least expensive fiberglass style and will only catch the very largest of dust particles as the air runs through the system. Most technicians will advise you to upgrade past these immediately because they do not catch most allergens or smaller particulates.
MERV ratings of 5-8 are a good range for most households. These come in a few varieties of pleated cotton or polyester and catch most airborne particles. They are designed to catch particles as small as 3 microns in size. This will cover dust mites, pollen, mold spores and general dust. These are a great choice because while they catch most airborne particles they are also not so dense that they impact your airflow and cause your unit to work harder.
MERV ratings of 9-12 are better for families who have members who are particularly sensitive to airborne allergens. They may restrict airflow slightly but will also catch up to 80% of all airborne particulates up to 1 micron in size.
MERV ratings of 13-16 are available but are typically reserved for hospitals and clinics as the average home does not have a unit which could have enough airflow through one of these filters.
To discuss this or any other HVAC concern, call Dayton Heating and Air today to speak with a local HVAC expert at 352-474-COOL.