Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

MERV Filters By The Number: Getting The Right One For Your Air Conditioner

How efficiently does your air conditioner remove airborne pollutants in your home? The number one factor in determining indoor air quality is the filter attached to your air conditioner. If you don’t know about the minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) scale, now’s a great time to learn. Then you’ll know how to choose from among the many MERV filters to find the perfect one for your home.

  • MERV 1-4: Air filters in this range are made of cheap fiberglass mesh and usually come standard on air conditioners. Since they only remove particles larger than 10 MERV Filters By The Number: Getting The Right One For Your Air Conditionermicrons (pollen, carpet fibers, dust mites), they do little to significantly impact the quality of your indoor air. They will maintain smooth airflow, however, as long as they’re changed regularly.
  • MERV 5-8: This range is ideal for most residential applications since MERV 5-8 filters can remove particles as small as 3 microns (mold, pet dander, hair spray) without impeding airflow through the system. In this way MERV filters in this range achieve the perfect balance between price and filtering efficiency.
  • MERV 9-12: Higher quality filters can trap airborne pollutants down to 1 micron (lead dust, auto emission particulates, milled flour). However they may hinder airflow without modifications to the air conditioner.
  • MERV 13-16: These are the highest quality residential filters. With the ability to remove particles as minuscule as .3 microns (bacteria, paint pigment, cooking oil), they’re ideal for situations where individuals in a home suffer from severe allergies or respiratory issues. However, these also have the potential of slowing airflow so make sure you consult with an HVAC expert to make sure these filters are right for your system.
  • MERV 17-20: MERV filters in this high range are categorized as HEPA (High Energy Particulate Air) filters. With the ability to capture particles smaller than .3 microns (viruses, smoke, carbon dust), they are reserved for institutional clean rooms and pharmaceutical applications.

Once you’ve chosen the right air filter for your home keep it clean by changing when needed. This can range from every month to one change per year depending on the filter, make sure you understand how to tell when a filter change is needed. A clean filter allows your unit to perform at its peak and in turn saves you money on your power bill. For more tips about improving indoor air quality, or for information on other home-comfort topics, please contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Co. in Yuma today.

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!