Living In Greater Cincinnati: Choose an A/C Filter that Balances Airflow With MERV

by Greg Leisgang on May 22, 2013

Posted in: Indoor Air Quality

choose an a/c filter, Butler County, OhioWhen you choose an A/C filter, it's important to understand both the numerical rating (MERV) for the filter and your home unit's airflow capacity.

What are MERV ratings?

Minimum efficiency reporting value ratings were developed by the HVAC industry as an industry standard to provide customers a means for comparing the ability to trap small particles in air filters. MERV ratings range from 1 to 20, with 1 being the least efficient and 20 being the most efficient. The higher numbers typically are high efficiency particulate air (HEPA) type filters. 

What does this mean for your home?

A higher number doesn't guarantee better indoor air quality. The higher ratings mean that the filter blocks smaller particles from getting through, which also means less air is getting through. When airflow's restricted, less air is cleaned. Since air filtration is more effective when air is flowing, it follows that you may not want to get the higher MERV-rated filter for your home. More resistance may also put pressure on your A/C unit, leading to mechanical problems. It's important to achieve a good balance between the effectiveness of the filter as measured by a MERV rating and airflow. 

Achieving a good balance

The documentation that came with your system should have some specific recommendations regarding the replacement filter. Choose an A/C filter within those guidelines for the best balance. Following the advice and changing your filter regularly will result in the best air quality for your home.

Should you have any questions regarding A/C filters or any other issues related to your home's comfort, contact the professionals at Tri-County Heating & Cooling. We've proudly served Butler County and Greater Cincinnati for over 40 years.

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