Is a Higher Air Filter Better for Your Home?

They'll also improve the air quality in your home and keep your lungs healthy. If the filter is too dirty or too resistant, it can cause airflow problems that impair efficiency and performance. To determine resistance, filters use the Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) rating system. In short, the higher the MERV rating, the more resistant the filter is. The MERV rating is essential to finding the right air filter for your home.

When selecting the right filter for your application, higher isn't always better. Using an air filter with a MERV rating higher than recommended by the manufacturer of your oven or air conditioner may impair its performance. This is especially true in homes with older HVAC units, which weren't built to accommodate thicker air filters. If you've ever wondered what the difference is between pleated air filters and their non-pleated counterparts, here's the answer. Filter technology has grown by leaps and bounds over the years, and MERV ratings are designed to help us determine the most effective and efficient air filter options for heating and cooling systems and more.

When most people say electronic air filter, they usually talk about an air purifier or an electrostatic air filter. The cheapest filters are made of spun fiberglass, which does very little to filter the air compared to materials such as paper, cotton or polyester. The MERV rating indicates the effectiveness of air filters in trapping airborne particulates, such as dust, dirt, and pollen. Failure to replace the filter according to its recommendations will build up dirt and dust, making it more restrictive and less effective at filtering. As air moves through a building's HVAC system, air filters trap and pick up large and small particles, such as dust, allergens and microorganisms.

Placing more folds (sometimes called pleats) on air filters increases their surface area, and more surface area means more space to trap particles in the air. I recommend changing air filters every 1 to 2 months to maintain peak performance and energy efficiency levels. While the air filter is designed to control the amount of unwanted air particles entering your home, your filter's MERV rating is meant to show you which filter is best for your home. The experts at David Gray Heating & Air have extensive experience and knowledge to help you with your air filtering needs.