Choosing The MERV Filter That’s Right For Your Furnace And Your Family’s Health

Every household is different, and every homeowner’s situation is a unique one. That’s why it can sometimes be tricky choosing the right filter for your furnace. A low-efficiency filter isn’t going to trap very many of those unwanted particles, while a high-efficiency one might end up catching too many particles — and as a result slow down your airflow. It’s truly important that you find the furnace filter that’s just right for your situation, and that’s where the MERV scale can really come in handy.

MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value, and it’s a rating to measure how well a furnace filter is able to capture small, unwanted particles in the air. The scale goes from 1 to 16, with the vast majority of common household MERV filters falling somewhere between 4 and 12. Generally, the higher up the filter is on the scale, the more it’s going to cost, and the more of those tiny particles it’s going to successfully capture.

A higher-efficiency MERV filter will usually end up recouping much of the initial price difference with energy savings down the road, but that doesn’t automatically mean that one is the best choice for your home. Usually, a filter rated at MERV 7 or 8 captures a sufficient amount of unwanted particles, unless you or a family member have serious allergies or some sort of immune system problem, in which case a MERV 11 or 12 filter is probably a worthwhile investment for your home.

Remember, it’s important to regularly check and change your MERV filter regardless of its efficiency, and you never want to make the switch from a fiberglass filter to a high efficiency one without first contacting a professional. They can then adjust your fan’s speed to help compensate for the reduction in airflow speed.

For all of your HVAC needs, contact us at Rite-Way Ventilating Co.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about MERV filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Rite-Way Ventilating Co services Tucson, Marana, Catalina, Oro Valley, Vail, Sahuarita, Green Valley and Tubac, AZ. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!     

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    John Molloy John Molloy has been employed at Riteway since Dec 2010 and was an estimator... More »