MERV Rating – What Does it Mean for Your Home?

In our day to day lives, most of us take things for granted in our homes such as the heating and cooling systems.  We purchase or rent a home or apartment and assume that our HVAC system is doing its job of heating and cooling.  However, there is more at play than just temperature control.  Our heating and cooling system also play a crucial role in the quality of the air we breathe inside of our homes.  This is where the use of quality  filters, and HEPA filters, based on the MERV rating, come into play.  

 

How Does an HVAC System Work?

Your HVAC system forces hot or cold air through the ducts in your home using a blower.  The hot air is forced through one set of ducts in your home and the cold air is forced through another set.  The process of pushing and recirculating the air heats and cools your home.  Air filtration generally occurs when air is brought back into your HVAC system to be cleaned and redistributed.  When the air comes back in, it is forced through the HVAC filter.  The filter then captures particulates and contaminants that are airborne which can cause health problems such as allergies and other illnesses.  

 

What Are HEPA Filters?

HEPA filters are mechanical air filters that are pleated to remove dust, pollen, mold, pet dander, bacteria, and many other pollutants.   Theoretically they can achieve a 99.97% efficiency of capturing particles as small as 0.3 microns. Particles of higher diameters are removed with even greater efficiency. To function properly, HEPA filters need to be cleaned periodically.  After a period of use, it is necessary to replace these filters.  If used in a residential setting, depending on air quality of the home such as dust, smoke, etc. the filters may last anywhere from 1 to 3 years.  In a commercial setting these filters should be checked every 6 months to check for degradation.  

 

There are six different types of HEPA filters.  Each type has its own that make it suitable for specific conditions. The different types are designated by the letters A to F, with the F types being the most efficient in removing particle sizes of 0.1 to 0.2 micron with an efficiency of 99.999%, The A-type filter can remove particles of 0.3 microns with an efficiency of 99.97% which is the minimum standard for HEPA filters.  

hepa filters

Are HEPA Rated Filters the Best Option?

HEPA filters, because of their construction, are quite fragile and can even be damaged in transit, if they are not properly handled.  This also makes them vulnerable during installation by technicians who are not well trained or experienced. Even stacking in trucks, poor packing, or dropping filters during unpacking and installation can reduce their effectiveness. HEPA filters need to be properly framed and gasketed before their installation. The gaskets ensure that no air leaks between the filter and its position in the air handling equipment.  

 

These Filters also come with a steep price and can cost as much as $200 per replacement filter.  In addition, HEPA filters can cause a restriction of air flow which requires a more powerful motor and increased power consumption. Equipment fitted with HEPA filters can also be more expensive to run. And are more demanding of maintenance which is an additional expense in their use.  

 

Because HEPA filters are easily damaged and not very cost effective for most homeowners, the idea of HEPA or N95 quality filtration seems out of reach.  Like HEPA filters, the Filti 9500 home air filter can capture particles as small as 0.3 microns to 1.0 microns.  Filti nanofiber technology filters have at least a 95% efficiency rate for these small particulates and an even higher rating for larger particulates.  This offers consumers clean air at an affordable price.  And, like HEPA and N95 filters, the Filti 9500 can capture viruses and bacteria.      

 

What is a MERV Rating and How Does it Affect My Home?

The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values or MERVS indicate ratings for air filters.  These ratings are standards set down through testing methods defined by ASHRAE, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning.  MERV ratings for home filters identify the size of particles a filter can efficiently capture from the air in your home.  The MERV rating system has a scale of 1 to 20.  While the MERV scale goes to 20, anything above a 16 is not intended for home use.  The higher the rating, the smaller air particulates that the filter can capture, which means cleaner air. 

 

Different types of airborne particulates vary in size and the MERV rating of your home filter determines which of these particles can be captured and which ones will continue to be airborne in your home.  To provide an example of particulate matter, a typical strand of human hair has a diameter of 50 to 150 microns. This provides perspective for the above reference of particulates in the size range of 0.3 microns. Pollution from the exhaust of diesel vehicles typically is between 2.5 and 10 microns. Like HEPA filters, the Filti 9500 home air filter cleans at a microscopic scale and for particles as small as 0.3 microns and does so at an efficiency rating of up to 95%. These filters do not obstruct the flow of air like HEPA filters

 

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How Do Unhealthy Particles Get Inside My Home?

In a home or office setting, air can contain many different types of airborne particles such as dust, dirt, pet dander, skin that people shed, viruses, bacteria, allergens, and even pollutants.  These airborne particulates settle on floors, walls, and furniture and can be brought into the home from things such as mud and dirt on shoes or dust particles from open windows.  They can also come from outside the home from the air that is taken in by HVAC equipment such as exhaust gases from traffic, pollen, and more.  

 

How Can I Protect My Home and the Health of My Family?

Clean air is essential for healthy living and the development of high-quality filters has greatly helped to ensure this.  To help protect consumers, Filti has created replaceable HVAC filters from our highly efficient, nanofiber material. Our Filti 9500 HVAC Home Filter captures up to 95% of airborne particles.  You can breathe easy in the comfort of your home with the knowledge that you and your family are being protected from allergens, bacteria, pet dander, sneeze nuclei, viruses, VOCs, and much more.

merv ratings home filters

 

At Filti we are passionate about helping people stay healthy.  Our filter products are designed to help keep you and your family safe by filtering out the bad particles in the air.  Our nanofiber filters, with a MERV Rating of 16, can filter out up to 95% of bad particles in the air as small as 0.3 microns in diameter.  Our mission to make quality air filtration products available to all consumers and frontline workers.  For more information about Filti, our products, and our mission, visit our website at https://filti.com/ or send us an email at info@filti.com. We look forward to hearing from you!

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