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What MERV Means and Why It’s Important


Your indoor comfort isn’t just about temperature; it’s also about the quality of the air you breathe. If you are experiencing issues with your indoor air quality, you can improve it with the addition of an air filtration system in Avon. Your HVAC system comes with a standard air filter, but the job of this filter isn’t to improve your indoor air; rather, this filter’s job is to trap dirt and dust before it can enter the various parts of your HVAC system. To find an air filter that will help you improve your indoor air quality, one of the first things you want to do is review its MERV rating. We’ll explain more about MERV below, but remember that for any upgrade to your HVAC system, be sure to call the people you can trust: Westland Heating and Air Conditioning.

What Is MERV?

MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value, and it is a scale that represents how effectively a particular air filter will operate. The scale ranges from 1 to 20, with 1 being the lowest. As an example, the standard filter that comes with your HVAC system usually has a MERV rating somewhere between 1-4. Here is an overview of MERV ranges and the particles that can be filtered within a specific range:

  • MERV 1-4 – large particles of dust and dirt (over 10 micrometers), fibers and large particles of pollen
  • MERV 5-8 – pollen, some mold spores, dust mites, pet dander,
  • MERV 9-12 – very fine dust and dirt particles, smaller allergen particles
  • MERV 13-16 – bacteria, droplet nuclei from sneezing, most smoke, some viral contaminants
  • MERV 17-20 – this is HEPA level, which can effectively trap over 99% of contaminants, including most biological contaminants (but not all)

The best MERV range for a home air filter is 5-12; air filter with MERV ratings higher than this can seriously restrict the air flow in your system, and cause mechanical problems. The best way to ensure you get the correct air filter for your home is  to consult with a specialist.

An air filtration system in Avon can give you the indoor air quality you want and need, but to ensure you are installing the correct type of air filter, it’s always best to work with a trained specialist. Call Westland Heating and Air Conditioning today and schedule an appointment with one of our indoor air quality specialists.

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