Of the many components found in an HVAC system, one of them is the filter. The filter’s function is to separate unwanted particles from the air. These are important parts of the system as it sees to it that the environment in our homes are free from any dust and debris that may be harmful or inconvenient to our loved ones.

For every manner of particle out there, an appropriate type of filter is made to deal with it. This is why the MERV Rating was created.

MERV Rating

It stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This is a form of categorization that was made by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Condition Engineers (ASHRAE). It is used to classify filters with the kinds of particles these filters are capable are straining away from the air.

A corresponding MERV rating is then given to every type of filter. This serves as a guide for consumers and contractors when making a purchase on this kind of product.

Am I Free To Choose Any Filter I Like?

Technically you are, but when doing so you have to take into account the units you have within your system. Some may not be powerful enough to handle MERV ratings higher up the spectrum. If you give your system more than it can handle then this will lead to an increase in wear and tear and will speeden up its deterioration.

Eventually causing more frequent repairs and a much more earlier need for the replacement of your heating and cooling system. This is why you should be more mindful when dealing with this particular matter since it may cost you more money and priceless time on your part.

The Different Types of MERV Ratings

Merv 1-4

These are the most common in households and can filter out:

Dust mites, carpet fibers, dust, textile fibers, spray paint, pollen

Merv 5-8

Found in residential settings and commercial settings and can filter out the particles and debris previously mentioned, with the addition of:

Cat and dog dander, spores, mold, cement dust, fabric protector

Merv 9-12

Can still be seen in some residential settings, though it is much more common in commercial settings and medical settings such as hospitals and laboratories. These can filter out the particles and debris previously mentioned, with the addition of:

Humidifier dust, lead dust, nebulizer drops, vehicular emissions, milled flour

Merv 13-16

Makes an appearance in prime commercial establishments and medical facilities. These can filter out the particles and debris previously mentioned, with the addition of:

All bacteria, sneeze, majority of tobacco smoke, insecticide dust, majority of face powder, majority of paint pigments, cooking oil

Merv 17-20

Located in electronics manufacturing plants and pharmaceutical manufacturing plants. These can filter out the particles and debris previously mentioned, with the addition of:

viruses, carbon dust, combustion smoke, sea salt

When needing advice or more in-depth information on this subject, refer to an HVAC company that is well-respected in the industry. Make sure to ask for their recommendations when choosing the filters to couple with your system. Call for a Westshore Mechanical technician for reliable expert advice at (616) 837 8088.

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