‘Tis the season to get your air conditioner serviced for the upcoming summer months. When you get your air conditioner maintained, it’s also a good time to change the filters in your HVAC system to make sure they’re nice and fresh. Clean filters not only guarantee cleaner air, but also a more efficient HVAC. But have you ever noticed the MERV ratings on your filters before? They aren’t just arbitrary numbers, they mean something!
MERV stands for “minimum efficiency reporting value,” which means how effectively your filter is removing particles from the air. A higher MERV rating means a higher filtration value, but it comes at a cost. The higher the value, typically the thicker the filter, which means it requires more force to push the air through. If you have a filter that is too thick for your system, it will be similar to having a clogged one, your HVAC system won’t be able to distribute air as efficiently and it can cause premature wear and tear.
For a residential home, you won’t want to go any higher than 12. You can check your equipment manual to see the maximum MERV rating it can handle. For more information on the MERV rating breakdown, check out this chart: MERV Rating.