Who’s MERV? Everything you should know about AC Filters

air filter

It’s easy to ignore air filters in home comfort systems, especially if the air handler for your cooling unit is located out of the way. Out of sight and out of mind can be a recipe for high bills and poor temperature management in your New Jersey home, making it important to plan for AC filter management. Following are some important issues to consider as you pencil filter changes in on your household calendar.

Why Is a Filter Necessary?

Most people believe that air filters are designed to clean the household air. While this is true to a degree, the filter is primarily designed to protect your HVAC equipment’s interior parts. As air enters the air handler, particles can settle on the equipment inside. A layer of dirt and grime can develop over time, creating a barrier that interferes with heat exchange and temperature moderation. An AC filter isn’t a perfect solution because it collects dirt over time, eventually losing its ability to remove particles from the airstream.

MERV and Indoor Air Quality

Although AC filters don’t perfectly clean your air supply, they do provide support for healthier air in the home. MERV is an acronym for minimum efficiency reporting value, a measure that indicates a filter’s effectiveness at capturing certain types of particles. The scale ranges from one to 20, but residential air conditioning systems should not use a filter with greater than a MERV of 12. A higher MERV can restrict the movement of air in your system, leading to malfunctions and inadequate comfort management. The higher the rating, however, the more efficient your filter will be at cleaning tiny particulates from the airstream.

Protocol for Air Filter Changes

Be sure that you have proper AC filter dimensions as you select a replacement. Check your filter monthly, especially during heavy heating or cooling activity. At the minimum, change your AC filter every three months. The professionals at McAllister can also assist with filter changes. You can learn more about additional indoor air quality products, or you can call us today at 877-216-3505.