What Difference Does a MERV Rating Make?

The MERV rating on your system’s air filters plays an important role in both improving indoor air quality and controlling heating and cooling costs. Here’s the impact that the MERV rating makes – and the difference it can make in your energy bills!

What Is a MERV Rating?

The MERV rating on air filters refers to the Minimal Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV), or the effectiveness, of the air filter. The higher the MERV rating, the finer the particles the filter can remove from the air. A filter with a MERV rating of 20, the highest rating possible, is used in cleanrooms that must be kept free from all potential contaminants. MERV filters with a rating of 1 can capture only larger particles such as textile fibers.

The Difference MERV Filters Can Make

Now that you understand a little more about MERV ratings, let’s talk about the difference that higher MERV-rated filters can make on your HVAC system.

Your HVAC’s filters serve two purposes: to protect the interior of your system from damaging dust and dirt, and to improve the indoor air quality.

Depending on how you would like to improve the indoor air quality, you may select a different MERV-rated filter for your needs. A home in a hot, humid southern climate may need MERV filters rated for mold spores (MERV 10), since humidity tends to breed mold; such filters will screen spores from the system and keep any mold down to a minimal, if any at all. Households with a smoker in residence may wish to use MERV 14 or higher filters, which can screen tobacco smoke from the air.

Using a MERV-rated filter lower than the recommended rating for your needs can cause your system to work harder. Dust, fibers, and other airborne debris can build up on the filter, making the motor and compressor work harder to keep the air flower steady. As the system works harder, it uses more energy, which can increase your energy bills. Heating and cooling costs account for a substantial portion of your monthly energy bill, so anything you can do to keep costs down can help you save money!

By taking time to understand MERV ratings and use the correct filter for your system and needs, you can save a substantial amount of money over time.

Twin City Filter Service offers a wide range of filter materials, pads, frames and more. Custom filters are also available. Commercial air filters, bulk media, and other materials are available at our location or upon request. We ship same day to customers coast to coast, and offer next day delivery in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, South Dakota and North Dakota. Twin City Filter Service may be reached at (612) 721-2001.

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