Thanks to the coronavirus, you might be thinking a lot more about how clean your home is. Don’t stop with using bleach wipes on your counters and your floors. Think about your air quality too.
Homes in Colorado are often shut tightly most months of the year. It’s too cold to open windows in the winter, too warm in the summer. And thanks to wind, rain, and hail storms that pop up unexpectedly throughout the spring and summer, you always have to be close by to shut everything tight to avoid damage to your wallboards, drapery, and floors.
What’s a person to do?
Consider upgrading your air filter. You’ll find no shortage of choices if you head online and do a search for replacements. What’s the difference? Should you believe the promises? What the best choice for your home?
Understanding MERV ratings
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. It’s used as a measurement for how well the air filter filtrates particles as they attempt to move through. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning has set up the MERV rating system from 1 to 16, with 1 being low and 16 being high. You might find a product rated as high as 20. These are ultra high efficiency air filters not typically used for residential settings.
What MERV rating should you choose?
MERV ratings are based on the smallest particle that a filter will block from entering the air stream. The measurements are reported in microns or micrometers, which is equivalent to a millionth of a meter.
A MERV 1 to 6 is a low end filter that can block 10 microns or bigger. The low cost fiberglass filters are usually in this category.
A MERV 7 to 13 is usually a minimum rating for residential use. It can effectively block particulates from mold and mildew, and prevent smoke particles from reentering the air supply. It does an effective job with a lot of bacterial particulates too.
Looking for ways to make the air you breathe better for you and your family? Even with a newer HVAC system, don’t forget about your air filter. Choose a MERV air filter rating that can help protect your family from a wide variety of pollutants and contaminants. Your lungs will thank you.