To keep your furnace operating at its highest level of efficiency, you must keep the unit well maintained and equipped with high-efficiency filters. Regular filter changes using high-MERV units give you good levels of indoor air filtration and keep your furnace working well. Regular filter changes also decrease your monthly utility bills.

MERV stands for “Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value,” and is an HVAC industry-standard rating of filter efficiency. MERV ratings indicate how effectively the filter captures and holds airborne particles ranging from 0.3 to 10 microns in size.

An additional advantage of high-MERV filters is their benefit to your family’s respiratory health. Efficient filters improve the air quality in your home and remove dust, pollen, fibers, mold and other particles that can be inhaled. They also eliminate airborne contaminants that can cause or aggravate allergies, asthma and respiratory conditions.

MERV ratings range from 1-16. The higher the MERV number, the smaller the particles the filter can trap and remove from the air. A MERV 16 filter, for example, traps very small particles such as bacteria, tobacco smoke and powders. A MERV 1 filter can capture only larger particles such as dust mites, textile and carpet fibers, mold spores and pollen.

Low-cost furnace filters usually bear MERV ratings of 1-4, so they are only minimally effective. A MERV 4 filter, for example, will capture as much as 80 percent of the particles 50 microns and larger, but only 25 percent of particles between three and 10 microns. Industry sources recommend using filters of MERV 6 or higher.

HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters provide even higher levels of air filtration. They filter the air at a MERV level of 17-20. HEPA filters are commonly used in hospitals, clean rooms and other locations where airborne contaminants must be kept to an absolute minimum.

For 40 years, Acosta Heating & Cooling has been providing professional HVAC services to customers in Charlotte and surrounding areas. Contact us today for expert help choosing MERV filters that will provide you with the best level of air filtration and indoor air quality.