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AAction Air Conditioning & Heating Co. Blog

The MERV Rating: An Important Factor in Air Filtration

One thing that any air conditioning technician will tell you often is how important it is to change your air filter each month. The air filter in your HVAC system helps to keep your air healthier, blocking contaminants from entering the HVAC system and preventing you and your family members from inhaling dust, pollen, mold spores, and many other contaminants.

But not all air filters are built the same. If you pay no attention to the MERV rating when choosing your next air filter, you may not have enough filtration to keep allergies and other respiratory issues under control.

Understanding the MERV Scale

The MERV scale ranges from 1 – 20, though filters on the later end of the scale are used in very few applications (primarily pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, and clean research facilities). When shopping for standard home air filters, you are likely to find MERV ratings between 1 and 12.

A MERV of 1 – 4 can effectively trap things like pollen and dust mites, but it takes a MERV of 8 to capture mold spores. MERVs up to 14 can also trap things like lead dust, auto emissions, insecticide dust, and legionella.

Choosing a Filter

You may think that the best option when selecting a filter is to choose the most effective one you can find. But this really is not the case. If the MERV rating on your filter is too high, there may not be enough air coming into your system for it to function properly.

The air handler of your air conditioner is designed to take in a certain amount of air, and if this is inhibited, the air conditioner can suffer. The coil of the AC may freeze, for example, or the parts might just become overworked. To make sure you get the most effective filter possible without hindering AC performance, consult a technician.

Ask one of our technicians for assistance selecting a new air filter or for additional air filtration tips and installation in the Savannah, GA area. Call AAction Air Conditioning & Heating Co. today!

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