When it comes to keeping your HVAC system in top condition, the air filter you choose can help. Staying on top of replacing this filter when it gets dirty will help your AC operate efficiently.

You’ve likely noticed MERV ratings on the different types of air filters available for your home AC unit. These numbers can help you choose the best filter for your air conditioner.

 More About MERV Ratings

MERV stands for “Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value,” a number assigned to the air filter for the sizes of particles it can trap. The higher the MERV rating number, the smaller the air particles it can capture. The more particles that an air filter traps, the less of them will circulate through your home.

Based on this, you might think that choosing an air filter with the highest MERV rating is the way to go. However, that’s not always the case since air filters with higher ratings may make your unit less efficient. You should always ask your Fort Walton Beach AC repair contractor which type of filter and MERV rating would be best for your particular unit.

MERV ratings can clue you into the capabilities of your air filter. These ratings go from 1 through 20, with the numbers on the higher end being best for removing more from your air. 

Which MERV Rating and Filter Type Is Best for Your Home?

If you want to get the best filter for your AC, you should always go with quality. These filters will be a little more expensive, though they will help your system run in a more efficient way.

In addition to choosing filters with better materials, the MERV rating you choose should be between 8 and 13. Air filters with these ratings can get dust, pollen, mold spores, and other irritants out of your air. 

MERV 8 air filters are ideal if your system isn’t capable of handling higher MERV ratings. It will block most of the airborne contaminants and provide quality air filtration. An air filter with a MERV 11 rating will go beyond that to pull out more contaminants, including allergens and pet dander. For pet owners or allergy sufferers, this type of filter will be best. 

If your system is compatible with a MERV 13 air filter, it may be ideal to choose this type of filter. It can remove smoke, pollution, and viruses, on top of removing the contaminants that the other air filters get rid of. However, make sure your system can use an air filter with a MERV 13 rating without it restricting airflow. Otherwise it could cause your system to break down. 

Remember, the higher the MERV rating, the better the filtration, though not every HVAC system will be equipped to handle these thicker filters. Asking a professional will ensure you’ll choose the right air filter for your system while getting maximum air filtration.

Once you know which air filter is best for your system, make sure you don’t neglect changing it as needed as part of your AC maintenance. 


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