How Do I Check What Merv Rating Filter My HVAC Can Handle?

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How Do I Check What Merv Rating Filter My HVAC Can Handle?

Regular air filter changes are essential for keeping your system clean and operating efficiently, as well as for keeping your energy bills in check if you have a furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump in your Ocala area home. One of the most common causes of HVAC problems is a clogged air filter, which can lead to system failure. Understanding MERV ratings can aid in the selection of the best filter for your system.


The Purpose of Your HVAC Air Filter

Your HVAC system’s air filter performs two critical functions:


  • It shields your system from dust, which can cause overheating and damage to critical components, resulting in costly repairs or even replacement.
  • It cleans the air in your home to improve the quality of your indoor air. Mold, pollen, and dust mites are among the many particles in your air.


A clogged air filter allows dust to accumulate inside your system, allowing more contaminants to enter your home’s air, and restricting airflow to your furnace or air conditioner, causing the equipment to overheat and fail.


How Often Should You Change Your Air Filter?

Depending on where you live, the size of your household, and whether you have pets, the air filter may need to be replaced once a month, twice a month, or three times a month. According to experts, you should inspect your air filter once a month and replace it if you can’t see the filter material through the dust.


How to Determine the Size of Air Filter

Refer to the specifications of your HVAC system to determine the size of air filter it requires. Additionally, you can simply look at the old filter. The dimensions should be printed on the frame.


Air Filter Choices: MERV Ratings

The quality of IR filters varies greatly. The MERV scale is a standard measure of a filter’s ability to remove particles from the air in your home. The MERV rating scale ranges from 1 to 20, with lower ratings indicating a lower-quality filter.


MERV 1-4 Filters: Filters with a MERV rating of 1 to 4 do little to trap harmful particles in your home’s air. They are flat rather than pleated, so there is less area for trapping a greater number of particles. Furthermore, they only capture particles larger than 10 microns in size, such as pollen, dust mites, and carpet fibers. The main purpose of these filters is to provide your system with minimal dust protection, and they must be replaced more frequently than other filters.


MERV 5-8 Filters: MERV ratings of 5 to 8 indicate a medium-quality filter that is adequate for most homes. They capture particles as small as 3 microns in size, such as mold spores, animal dander, and dust mite droppings, which are highly allergenic.


MERV 9-12 Filters: Filters with MERV ratings of 9 to 12 are almost as effective as true high-efficiency particulate absorption, or HEPA, filters at removing particles from indoor air that are hazardous to your health, making them ideal for homes with occupants who have COPD, allergies, asthma, and other respiratory conditions, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. These high-quality filters trap particles as small as one micron, including Legionella and humidifier dust. MERV 9 to 12 filters are the best filters that a residential HVAC system will accommodate without serious system modifications.


MERV 13-20 Filters: These extraordinary filters, which can trap viruses, bacteria, and carbon dust, are typically used in commercial HVAC systems, such as those found in manufacturing plants or hospitals. A residential system will not accept filters with MERV ratings greater than 12 unless it has previously been retrofitted for a higher-efficiency filter.


How to Replace Your Air Filter

The air filter is typically located in the blower compartment, between the air return and the furnace or air handler itself. Because the particles in the dirty filter are very small and can become airborne quickly, keep a plastic bag handy to put it in. Remove the dirty filter by slowly opening the compartment door. Insert the clean filter into the frame, with the arrows printed on the frame pointing away from the air return and toward the main unit.

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Are you Worried About Your Home’s Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) During Fire Season?

You don’t have to worry about your home’s IAQ this season if you call Superior Mechanical Services today for high-quality air conditioning service. We’re here not only during wildfire seasons but also after they’ve passed, so you can rest assured that we’ll take care of any concerns or problems while providing peace of mind knowing our team is onsite if needed in future years. As the effects of wildfire season continue throughout Northern California many homeowners find themselves feeling less comfortable due to smoke and other toxic particles that can enter through even seemingly tight structures. Superior Mechanical Services, Inc. began in 1948 as a family-owned business with a vision to provide value-minded service with a down-to-earth approach to customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area. As the premier Commercial and Residential HVAC Service provider for Livermore, Dublin, and Pleasanton, Superior Mechanical can do it all, from heating and air conditioning services to boiler services, to plumbing services. Our technicians are certified professionals who will ensure every part of your project is done right using a careful checklist to guide and test each step. Contact us today for help ensuring your home’s IAQ stays healthy and clean every day of the year, regardless of the season!

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