Make Your MERV: What to Know About MERV Ratings

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Whatever the time of year, seasonal and environmental allergies in Streator, Illinois, can make breathing easy a challenge. But if you can catch allergens before they spread through your home by trapping them in your HVAC system with the right air filter you can minimize their effects. You probably already know to change your filters regularly to keep them effective, but did you know every air filter isn’t created or rated equally?

What MERV Ratings Mean

Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) ratings indicate which particle sizes a filter can effectively remove from the air. Some of the most common particles that filters remove include pet dander, dust mites, mold spores, and bacteria – all things that allergy sufferers don’t want to breathe in.

Ratings range from 1 to 16, with higher numbers filtering out smaller particles. Filters with a MERV rating of 6 can generally capture 50 percent of particles in the air; ratings of 11 and above can filter out more than 95 percent of contaminants. Most residential filters are usually rated between MERV 7 and 12.

How to Pick the Right Filter

With the higher MERV ratings filtering out most allergens, Streator, Illinois, homeowners might think higher MERV ratings are better for their homes. But that’s not always true. As higher-level filters capture increasingly smaller particles, airflow resistance increases and often reduces the HVAC system’s efficiency.

But a lower-rated MERV might not be the right solution, either. If your filters are rated too low, bacteria, pollen, mold, and more will continue to flow through the filter and back into the air you’re breathing. And this can be uncomfortable and even dangerous for those with breathing difficulties.

Partner with an HVAC service provider that can ensure your system and filters are working at peak performance. Call us at Popejoy Plumbing, Heating, Electric and Geothermal at (815) 692-4471 today to learn how our Homeowner Peace of Mind Agreement ensures your home is expertly cared for.

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