Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Choosing The MERV Filter That’s Right For Furnace Efficiency And Family Health

It isn’t always easy choosing the right filter for your household’s furnace. The fact is, there are a ton of different options, and you certainly don’t want to rush your decision, as it can have a major impact on your home’s energy efficiency, as well as the overall comfort and health of your family. Fortunately, by paying attention to the MERV filter scale, you can make your eventual decision significantly easier.

MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value. It measures how well a air filter can pick up tiny particles that can end up clogging your  appliance or circulating through your home’s air. The scale for residential use ranges from 1 to 16, with the vast majority of household filters falling between 3 and 12.Choosing The MERV Filter That's Right For Furnace Efficiency And Family Health

If a MERV filter is higher on the scale, it will do a better job of capturing smaller particulates in the air, but it also may restrict your air flow, either because it gets clogged quicker or because its thicker construction won’t allow air to flow through as easily. This will make your furnace work harder, using up more energy and hastening eventual breakdowns. The highest MERV filters also sometimes require modifications of your furnace in order for them to fit properly.

The air flow issue, as well as the higher cost, are the main reasons that most families are content with a mid-range MERV filter, something between 5 and 12. These manage to capture up to 95 percent of particles 5 microns or larger – and unless you or a family member have serious allergy problems, there’s a good chance that’s plenty efficient for your household. However, if you’re intent on having the cleanest air possible, either for aesthetic or health reasons, it’s worthwhile to consider a MERV 13-16 filter.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to consult with a local HVAC contractor before switching to a new type of furnace filter, and it’s never smart to ignore the MERV filter scale. For any HVAC needs in the Yuma area, contact us at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about MERV filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Hansberger Refrigeration & Electric Co services the Yuma area in Arizona. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!     

MERV Filter image via Shutterstock