Airflow and air quality are critical aspects of your air conditioning and heating system. Air filter efficiency affects both. The goal is to effectively target and filter out airborne particulates circulating through your HVAC system without excessively restricting airflow and degrading system performance.
Developed by the American Society Of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers, the MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating system assigns a number from 1-16 based on the size of particulates the filter removes and the amount of airflow restriction imposed by the filter. The higher the filter’s MERV number, the smaller the particulate size trapped and the greater the air resistance in the system.
Here’s a summary of the MERV filter ratings and how they perform:
These are the least expensive disposable filters and will trap only 80 percent of particles 10 microns in size and larger. This is limited to large inorganic dust particulates and fibers. The primary purpose of MERV 1-4 filters is to protect system mechanical components from airborne particles — not to ensure healthy air quality.
Used in both residential and commercial applications, these filters remove particles from 3 to 10 microns. Air filter efficiency ranges from 35 percent capture for MERV 5 up to 85 percent for MERV 8. At the upper limit of air filter efficiency, MERV 8 filters will capture most pollen, pet dander, dust and other contaminants.
Filters in this range are recommended for residences where asthma or sensitivities to allergens and other contaminants are reported. These filters will remove up to 95 percent of particles down to 1 micron, including some bacteria, fumes and auto emissions.
Suitable for medical facilities, air filter efficiency in this range will trap all bacteria, most tobacco smoke components and airborne biological contaminants. They are effective at removing up to 85 percent of particulates down to 0.3 microns.
Since 1955, AirRite Air Conditioning has been committed to the health and comfort of Fort Worth/Arlington residents. Let us show you more ways to protect your interior air quality.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Fort Worth and Arlington, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about air filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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