MERV vs. HEPA Filters: What Are the Differences?
The filter in your HVAC system removes impurities from the indoor air. This helps to reduce allergy and asthma symptoms and helps to keep your home cleaner. Air circulating through your home passes through the device and then reenters the rooms in a purified state. You will need to choose the right type based on your needs. Knowing the difference between MERV and HEPA filters will help you to select the option that is appropriate for your home in St. Rose, Louisiana.
What Is a MERV Filter?
Finer filtration is a characteristic to look for when choosing an air filter for your home. MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value. All filters have a MERV rating. Many HVAC companies and distributors offer filters with a MERV rating between one and 20. This rating describes how effectively the filters remove particles and allergens like pet dander, dust, and pollen from the air.
Filters with high ratings can even remove biological growth, car fumes, and smoke. They effectively destroy airborne particles and are extremely energy-efficient. A filter with a high MERV rating is especially recommended for homes with allergy and asthma sufferers.
It is important to understand that MERV values are not standard. They will vary from one brand to the next. This means one filter with a MERV rating of 14 may be able to remove volatile organic compounds, while a different filter with the same rating may not be able to achieve this same level of filtration.
What Is a HEPA Filter?
HEPA filters are commonly thought to be the best of the best when it comes to HVAC air filters. They can trap airborne contaminants that are as small as 0.3 microns in diameter. The average strand of hair on your head is about 45 microns.
Generally, HEPA filters require an additional fan to filter the air. This means your HVAC system needs to be compatible with a HEPA filter, or it will not work effectively. An HVAC system that’s not compatible with a HEPA filter will not operate efficiently since it will have to try to generate enough power to move air through the filter. This can increase your energy bills and put extra strain on your system.
Choosing a Filter for Your Home
All air filters are designed to remove dust from the indoor air. A filter with a MERV rating of five to eight will effectively remove a variety of allergens from the air, including dust mites and pollen. If no one in your home has respiratory problems, or airborne particles are not a particular concern, you can use a basic filter.
Volatile organic compounds are commonly released into the air when using household cleaning products and are extremely harmful to your health. A filter with a MERV rating of eight to 16 can remove these pollutants from the air. Filters with a MERV rating of 13 to 17 are normally used in hospitals and nursing homes. They are ideal for removing bacteria from the air. Use this type of filter if you or someone in your home suffers from a chronic illness that weakens the immune system.
HVAC filters with a rating of 15 to 20 are meant to be used in residential and commercial structures where there is a strong concern about the potential spread of viruses. Consider filters with high ratings if you suffer from an illness that makes it harder for your immune system to fight viruses.
Your IAQ Experts
Only use a HEPA filter if your HVAC system is compatible. Speak with an HVAC specialist to determine what kind of filter you can use with your system. If you need more than just a basic filer, ask about upgrades that support HEPA filters. Installing a new unit is an excellent way to achieve improved ventilation and optimum filtration.
Bryans United Air Conditioning specializes in a variety of HVAC services, including indoor air quality improvement. Visit our website or give us a call at 504-208-2071 for more information.
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