Air Filtration: What You Need To Know About MERV Ratings, HEPA, & More
Most homeowners don’t take time to think about how many allergens and pollutants they’re breathing in when inside their homes. You might think you’re more protected from contamination inside. However, indoor air quality can actually be much worse than what you’re breathing in outside.
Poor air filtration is responsible for poor indoor air quality
The average American spends most of their time indoors, where pollutants can often be 2-5x higher than outdoor levels. Levels of pollutants indoors continue to rise with increased usage of synthetic building materials, furnishings, personal hygiene products, pesticides, and harsh household cleaners. Young children, the elderly, people with cardiovascular problems, and those with respiratory diseases are most susceptible to the negative effects caused by poor indoor air quality.
With proper air filtration and the right ventilation in your home, you don’t have to worry. These sorts of contaminants get cycled through your home’s HVAC system.
How to improve your indoor air quality
- HEPA filtration: Using a vacuum with HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filtration can keep your home and lungs clean. A HEPA filter can also be applied directly to your HVAC system. It will likely need to be modified by a professional HVAC technician.
- Replacing HVAC filters: Clean or replace your HVAC air filter about every 1-2 months. Or as specified on your HVAC system’s individual air filter. Avoid waiting past 90 days to change your filter. Remember: if your air filter is dirty, so is the air inside of your home. Regularly replacing and cleaning your air filter greatly reduces and manages the amount of allergens and irritants in your home.
- Duct cleaning and sealing: You should schedule a professional duct cleaning and sealing each year. This will improve the quality of your indoor air quality. It will also ensuring your HVAC system is working efficiently and saving you money on energy costs.
MERV Ratings (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value)
The MERV rating is an informative tool used to describe how efficient an air filter is. The higher the MERV rating, the finer the pores are for air flow. Which means that smaller dust and allergen particles can’t get through. MERV ratings typically range from 1 to 16 and are divided into 3 categories. These categories are based on efficiency (low efficiency, medium efficiency, and high efficiency). Medium efficiency MERV ratings are about 7-13 and are ideal for removing contaminants from most homes.
HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air Filter)
This type of air filter, found in most whole home humidifiers, traps airborne contaminants. It uses a fine mesh. As air passes through it, it helps keep pollen, pet dander, dust mites, and tobacco smoke from circulating through your home. HEPA filtration is also a feature used on vacuums. It helps reduce the spread of allergens.
Do you have questions about MERV ratings or HEPA filtration? Contact A-Abel to speak with an experienced HVAC technician. Learn what you should be using for your home and household needs. We will set you up. With everything you need to ensure your HVAC system is helping not hurting you and your family.