The filter in your home’s HVAC system will either improve or hinder heating and cooling efficiency. With lower efficiency levels, you’re likely to see rising heating and cooling expenses and incur costly HVAC repairs. That’s why it’s important to find the right filter for your HVAC system. Understanding the types of filters available and how MERV ratings work can help you find the right air filter for your Richmond, Virginia, home.

What’s a MERV Rating?

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The MERV rating on an air filter indicates how many particles it can catch. A higher MERV rating means the filter will catch more and smaller particles than a filter with a lower MERV rating. Because of this, many people use a filter with a high MERV rating to help maintain good air quality at home. However, it’s crucial to know that these filters have high levels of resistance, which can lead to big pressure drops and decreases in HVAC efficiency.

Filters come with a MERV rating of between 1 to 20. Ideally, you need a filter that has a rating between 10 and 16. These filters catch the majority of harmful airborne particles while maintaining minimal air resistance. As a result, you’ll reduce your risk of requiring costly HVAC repairs.

What are the Different Types of Air Filters?

There are four basic types of air filters: washable/reusable, fiberglass, pleated/polyester and high-efficiency filters. Pleated filters work much more effectively than fiberglass filters. They usually have a MERV rating from 8 to 13. These filters can remove up to 85 percent of harmful airborne particles in your home and don’t come with a high risk of causing major HVAC issues.

It’s typically best to avoid using washable filters. They come with extremely low MERV ratings and require a lot of maintenance. As far as high-efficiency filters, it’s best to steer clear of using them unless you or someone in your home suffers from severe allergies, asthma or another type of respiratory health condition.

Contact Atlantic Shores Heating and Cooling today at 804-632-8481. One of our service technicians can help you choose a filter that improves your home’s indoor air quality without compromising HVAC efficiency.

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