Do Air Filter Ratings Really Matter?

When it comes to air filters, the MERV rating is an important factor to consider. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Report Value and it tells you how well a filter can capture contaminants. It's important to choose the right filter for your home, as an air filter with a rating that is too high can cause your HVAC system to work harder and increase your energy costs. When selecting an air filter, it's important to determine the specific needs of the occupants of your home.

This should be directly correlated with the CADR or MERV ratings of the filter. If you're looking for a good filter, the Nordic Pure MERV 12 is a great option that often costs less than other filters. Another option is an electrostatic air filter, which is a washable air filter that uses static electricity to capture particles. These filters are more expensive than basic fiberglass filters, but they can be reused and they can capture smaller particles than standard washable filters.

Smart filters such as 3M Filtrete smart air filters are also available and use sensors to monitor airflow. An independent test of the effects of MERV filters 8 to 13 on HVAC airflow and energy consumption concluded that even with a high MERV rating, airflow and energy penalties are unlikely to be serious until the filter is loaded with dirt. When comparing the cost of a pleated filter with a non-pleated filter, you have to triple the price per filter of the non-pleated filter to get an accurate comparison. Both claim to be based on the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers ASHRAE 52.2 standard used to establish MERV ratings, but neither company offers an easily accessible explanation of how their own ratings differ or compare to MERV.

Lucille Boughman
Lucille Boughman

Incurable internet advocate. Extreme food practitioner. Friendly internet advocate. Subtly charming social mediaholic. Avid music trailblazer. Amateur web specialist.

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