One of the important jobs we do here at JW Plumbing, Heating and Air is to help homes improve the quality of their air with the installation of filters. Air filtration systems operate on a basic principle: using a mesh of fibers to attract and trap physical particles. But this simplicity doesn’t mean that finding the right filter and setting it up for your house is also basic.

The truth is that filters come in many different varieties, and their efficiency is measured as MERV (“minimum efficiency reporting value”). This scale of filtration was established in 1987 and is the standard for determining how small a particle a specific filter can trap. The simplest filters, such as those found on window air conditioning units, have MERV of 2 to 4. The filters used for “clean rooms” in industrial buildings that can keep out the smallest particles can have a MERV of 18 or higher.

So shouldn’t I just pick the filter with the highest MERV rating I can find and afford?

No, not. The weave of fibers in high MERV filters is thick to trap pollutants such as bacteria. But this weave will also prevent air from flowing through the filter unless the fan powering the HVAC system is industrial strength. You’ll only find extremely high MERV filters in commercial buildings that can handle the strain of the filter.

If you selected a HEPA filter for your home (which has an MERV of 14 or higher) you could damage your air conditioning and heating system. At the very least, you’ll strangle the airflow through the ventilation system, leading to slugging airflow from the vents and a drop in comfort around your house.

Trust to HVAC professionals!

The people who know how to match your HVAC system with the ideal type of filter are indoor air quality experts with experience handling air conditioning and heating. Call our team, and we’ll make certain you have a filter that will clean your air without putting a damper on your comfort or a rise on your utility bills.

JW Plumbing, Heating and Air serves the Air San Gabriel Valley, CA.

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