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Indoor Air Quality Through Air Filtration: How MERV Ratings Can Help

Posted on: May 30th, 2013 by

Indoor Air Quality Through Air Filtration: How MERV Ratings Can HelpGood indoor air quality is one of those things you just shouldn’t do without. Since most people spend the majority of their time inside their home or office, that makes indoor air quality a major concern. Poor indoor air quality is estimated to play a part in 50 percent of all illnesses and allergies.

Your HVAC system’s air filter can dramatically improve indoor air quality but it requires a system design to meet your individual needs. Many air filters only remove the largest dust particles from the air, allowing smaller (and more harmful) bacteria, viruses and mold spores to pass through freely. So, to make sure the air in your Tarrant County Fort Worth home is clean, you need to make sure your air filter is up to the task.

Better Air Through MERV
To find out whether your air filter is truly effective at improving indoor air quality, you need to look at the filters MERV rating number.

MERV, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, is the standard rating system used to indicate how well a filter removes microscopic particles from the air. MERV rates each filter on a 20-point scale.

  • The flat fiberglass filters used in most HVAC systems have a very low MERV rating of 1-4. They protect your HVAC equipment from larger particles, but do not protect your lungs or even pet dander, and diseases that are in the air.
  • HEPA filters fall at the opposite end of the scale, with MERV ratings of 16-20. They remove 99.97 percent of all pollutants with every pass. However, they also require the HVAC system to be designed properly so the air can pass through the filter in a way that does not affect the efficiency of your HVAC system. A trained professionally can make these require changes to your duct system design to compensate and allow for the proper air flow.
  • Medium-efficiency filters, with MERV ratings between 7 and 13, are a good option for budget conscious customers that need good filtration but cannot afford the best in class filtration. These filters remove a fairly high percentage of pollutants with each pass, and since the air passes through them multiple times, the cumulative effect results in clean, healthful indoor air.

To determine exactly which MERV filter will work with your HVAC system to provide the best indoor air quality, please contact us at AirRite Air Conditioning Company, Inc. for a free evaluation and recommendation We’ve been serving Tarrant County homeowners since 1955, and are the local indoor air quality experts.

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 indoor air quality and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

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