What You Should Know About MERV Ratings for Air Filters

Even though Arkansas meets American federal air quality standards pretty consistently, homeowners should still be vigilant about their indoor air quality. In fact, studies have shown that indoor air is often more polluted than outdoor air. 

In the modern age, with most people spending a lot of time indoors, ensuring clean and healthy air is important, especially during the winter.

One great way is choosing a quality air filter for your HVAC system. This article will help you learn more about air filters so you can pick a suitable one for your home. At Anderson Air, we’re dedicated to helping Arkansas homeowners maintain optimal indoor air quality and system efficiency.

What is an MERV Rating and what does it mean? 

MERV – Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value – is a standard that measures how effective an air filter is overall. MERV ratings range from 1 to 20 (1 being the least effective and 20 being the most). 

Higher value MERV ratings indicate finer filtration, so fewer dust and allergens can slip through. It’s helpful when comparing different filters as it gives a consistent efficiency standard. 

Compared to other rating systems like HEPA and ULPA, MERV provides a broader spectrum of ratings. HEPA filters generally fall into the higher end of the MERV scale, with a rating between 17 and 20. In contrast, ULPA filters exceed the MERV scale with ratings above 20, providing ultra-fine filtration.

Despite what it may seem like, a higher MERV rating isn’t always better. It’s important to choose a filter rating that fits your specific needs and air quality concerns. For instance, if you’re dealing with common allergens such as pollen and dust mites, a MERV 12 filter may suffice. But if you need to filter out bacteria and tobacco smoke, you’ll want a MERV 16 or higher or a ULPA filter.

How do air filters help indoor air quality? 

Air filters help enhance indoor air quality by acting as the first line of defense against airborne contaminants. These vital components stop various pollutants from circulating through your heating and cooling system. As air passes through the filter, allergens, bacteria, and pathogens get caught in the filter’s fibers, preventing them from reentering your living space.

Allergens, including dust mites, pollen, and pet dander, are common irritants that can trigger allergies and asthma attacks, especially during the spring and allergy seasons. By trapping them, air filters help reduce reactions and ensure a healthier, more comfortable, allergen-free environment. 

Some high-efficiency air filters, such as those with a MERV 16 rating or higher, can even capture bacteria and pathogens, enhancing protection against viruses and illnesses.

Life is more enjoyable when you’re not constantly coughing and sneezing. If you want to improve your home comfort but aren’t sure which filter to choose, contact our team at Anderson Air. Our air purification specialists will help you narrow down your options. 

How can MERV Ratings affect airflow and energy efficiency

Different MERV ratings indicate different filtration levels. These also determine the airflow and overall efficiency of an HVAC system once it’s installed. A filter’s MERV rating directly impacts how much air can pass through the filter. 

While a higher MERV rating means better filtration, it can also mean that your HVAC system has to work harder to push air through the filter, leading to increased energy usage and potentially higher energy bills. Higher-rated filters are more densely packed to trap more small airborne contaminants.

Also, if your system isn’t designed to handle a filter with a high MERV rating, it can lead to decreased performance and even damage over time. Furnaces, heat pumps, and air conditioners will all have different capacities, so it’s best to have a pro measure take a look for you.

Choosing a filter with too low of an MERV rating, on the other hand, can let more pollutants pass through, which can affect your air quality. It’s best to find a balance between your air quality needs and the system’s ability.

If you have questions about which filter is best for your system’s performance, call our office, and one of our technicians can take a look for you. 

How to choose the right air filter for your HVAC system? 

The best MERV filter for a home can vary for different situations, but should typically range between 6 to 13.

Choosing the right air filter for your HVAC system is crucial to maintaining optimal indoor air quality and system efficiency. The MERV rating you choose will greatly depend on several factors, including: 

  • The Type of HVAC System: Your particular HVAC system’s specifications and design will affect the best MERV rating.
  • Air Quality Needs: If you or a household member has allergies or other respiratory problems, you may require a higher MERV rating. Also, if you have pets, consider a higher rating. For certain rooms requiring higher filtration, maybe consider a portable air purifier system to subsidize it. 
  • Geographical Location: Your climate and region may influence the type you need. For instance, Arkansas’s humid subtropical climate can encourage the growth of mildew and mold, potentially requiring a higher-rated filter.
  • Furnace/HVAC Compatibility: Make sure your chosen filter is compatible with your HVAC system. An ill-fitting filter can decrease energy efficiency and increase energy costs.
  • Filter Size: Get the right size for your HVAC unit, or you may risk impacting its performance and potentially causing damage.
  • HVAC Manufacturer’s Recommendations: Check your manual for recommendations. The product’s builder knows it best.

Choosing the right air filter from the many available options can be daunting. But don’t worry – our team of experts at Anderson Air is here to assist you. We can test your air quality and help you pick the right filter for your system. 

For the best in air care, call Anderson Air  

Many homeowners are taking steps to care for their health and indoor air quality. The experts at Anderson Air are always ready to help. We’re committed to ensuring homeowners in northwest Arkansas have the best indoor air quality possible. 

Our comprehensive air care services and expert team will help you make the right choice for your needs. Whether you need help with your heating, air conditioning, or ventilation or just want a professional opinion on air purifiers, we have what you need. 

Contact our office today and take the first step towards better air conditioning and improved indoor air quality. For installation, repair, and maintenance services in Bentonville, Arkansas, there’s no better choice than Anderson Air.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top