Air Filter Ratings: What Particles Do You Want to Trap?

Particles in your home’s air can cause significant respiratory distress as well as other health problems. Unfortunately, the air inside your home is often more polluted than the outside air. That is why it is important to use good quality filters in your home’s HVAC system. Air filter ratings were developed so that the consumer can tell how efficient a filter is. Handling Dust Is a Fact of Life in Amarillo: What to Do About It

What Is MERV?

Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) is the system used to rate how small a particle an air filter can handle. On this scale, a 1 represents the ability to trap larger particles, such as carpet fibers. MERV air filter ratings of 20 mean that the device can trap particles as small as a virus cell.

Using the MERV Rating to Shop for Filters

  • In a residential setting, cheaper filters typically have a MERV rating of 1- 4. These filters will trap pollen and dust mites. For a little more money, you can buy better filters with a rating of up to 8, and trap mold spores and hair spray. Some filters in this range are pleated, offering more extensive surface for filtering particles.
  • Filters rated MERV 10 remove up to 85% of particles down to 3 microns.
  • MERV ratings of 16 remove over 95% of particles down to 0.3 microns.  They will also remove over 90% of bioaerosols and microgranisms down to 0.01micron.

For more information about filters and their MERV ratings, contact us at Amarillo Air Conditioning. We have been providing service to the Amarillo area since 1960.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Amarillo, Texas 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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