Choosing The MERV Filter That's Best For Furnace Operation And Family Health

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During the heating months in Western Colorado, residential furnaces often run non-stop. It’s important to check your air filter regularly to make sure it’s not too clogged to do its job. And it’s a big job for such a simple device. Your air filter is pivotal to furnace efficiency and function, and it also affects your family’s comfort and health.

When you’re shopping for an air filter, keep in mind two important criteria: filtering capability and fit. The air filter must fit snugly with no gaps for air to bypass. A filter with a gasket is preferable. Filtering capability depends on many factors such as material, layers, pleated or flat, thickness and so on. Fortunately, there’s a rating system that simplifies the process. It’s called MERV – minimum efficiency reporting value.

The MERV rating scale is 1-20, with 20 the highest efficiency. For residential use, the scale is 1-16. Filters with ratings 17-20 are for usually institutional and industrial use, with heavy-duty equipment powerful enough to pull air through these dense filters. MERV filters 1-4 are only good for blocking large particles from damaging your furnace. The ideal MERV filters for both air filtering and furnace efficiency are 7-13, experts say. These filters can be used without any modifications to your equipment. Your system may handle MERV 14-16 with no discernable stress. However, many residential systems require modifications to pull air through these filters.

The importance of filters

The typical home harbors 500 percent more pollution than city air. This is because contaminants, toxins, pet dander, garage emissions, and bioaerosols such as dust mites, pollen and viruses become trapped and multiply. Filters contribute to furnace efficiency. A poor-quality filter allows debris into the system, which will harm the equipment. A filter that’s too powerful will hinder air flow, which will make your furnace work harder than necessary.

Whether your furnace is older or new, consult with your heating and cooling professional to find the best filter for your furnace’s efficiency, and most of all, your family’s health. Call the Climate Control Company. We’ve helped Western Colorado residents breathe easier for over 50 years.

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, please visit our website.     

Climate Control Company services Aspen, Vail and the surrounding Western slope communities in Colorado

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