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Understanding the Efficiency of Air Filters

Winter is often the trouble time for homes when it comes to indoor air quality. A house needs proper insulation to keep heating systems from wasting energy because of drafts. But that also means stuffy air filled with plenty of unwanted particles swarming through the house. Air filters (not the filter in the HVAC system, which isn’t for air quality) are one of the best ways to solve this problem.

Here’s the tricky part, however: there is no such thing one-size-fits-all air filter. Air filters have different efficiencies, and going for the strongest efficiency you can find for air filters is a bad idea!

Filter Efficiency vs. The HVAC System

The reason you have to be cautious about the efficiency of an air filter is that a higher efficiency rating also means a tighter fiber weave. This tight weave may stop minute particles, but it will also stop air flow. You’ll basically have the equivalent of a solid wall placed in the ducts that your heater’s blower can’t power through. You’ll end up with little comfort and enormous energy bills.

How Filter Efficiency is Measured

The standard metric for air filtration system efficiency is minimum efficiency reporting value, or MERV. Rated on a scale from 1 to 20, the higher the MERV, the smaller particles a filter traps. A MERV of 1 to 2 is what you’d find on a window air conditioning system. A MERV of 20 is used for clean rooms in high tech facilities. You’re looking for something between these two extremes, probably from 6 to 12.

This is where our indoor air quality professionals are invaluable. They know how to match the MERV of an air filtration system to a home’s heater and air conditioner. If the highest MERV filter that will not place stress on the HVAC system isn’t enough, our technicians will pair the filters with electronic air purifiers.

Call the doctor of home comfort today: Hall’s Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration is here to help in Haughton, LA.

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