Air Purifier Filters MERV Rating
Spring is here, and unfortunately, so is allergy season. 2011 saw record-breaking pollen levels, and this year is expected to exceed them1. If you suffer from allergies, you may already be searching for relief from your symptoms. Air purifiers are one common solution, and your Arnold heating and cooling company can provide you with a reliable Carrier system to purify your whole home. While you may focus on the efficiency of the equipment itself, you may not realize that the filter plays an important role in the effectiveness of removing particles from the air in your space. How do you determine which filter is the best for your needs? The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc. (ASHRAE) has developed testing procedures and a rating system for filters.
Known as the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Rating Value), filters are tested to determine their ability to remove certain particles from the air. Air purifier filters are rated on a MERV scale of 1 to 16. The higher the MERV, the more efficient your system, and the more particles your filter can capture. For residential purposes, ASHRAE has designated a minimum efficiency of 6 MERV2. HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters have MERV ratings between 17 and 20, but have different filtering media which may not necessarily make them the best option. According to the EPA, “Filters that have a MERV between 7 and 13 are likely to be nearly as effective as true HEPA filters.”2 A Ballwin indoor air quality specialist can explain your options.
As the MERV rating increases, the smaller the particles it is capable of capturing. For example, filters with lower MERV ratings are still rather efficient at capturing larger particles such as pollen, dust, and pet dander. Those with health issues such as asthma may want to look into a more efficient filter. It is important to understand that the MERV simply evaluates the efficiency of the filter and does not signify the quality of the system itself. Anton’s Air Conditioning & Heating in St. Louis can help you evaluate your needs and choose a system that is right for your family.
1ABC News; http://abcnews.go.com/Health/AllergiesSeasonal/spring-2012-worst-allergies/story?id=15930328#.T4Mex9V2N6N
2Environmental Protection Agency; http://www.epa.gov/iaq/pubs/residair.html#16