When it comes to protecting your HVAC system and improving your indoor air quality, filters play a very important role. HVAC air filters prevent airborne contaminants from building up inside your heating and air system and spreading throughout your home. If you have recently shopped for filters, you know that there many options available on the market. Two of the most popular types of HVAC filters are MERV and HEPA filters. But what is the difference between these two types?
MERV is an acronym for “minimum efficiency reporting value.” It’s a scale that’s used to rate the effectiveness of air filters. Filters with higher MERV ratings are more effective at trapping small particles. MERV ratings range from 1 to 16. The most common type of filter used in homes has a MERV rating of 8. Filters with a MERV rating of 13 or higher are much less common and are typically only used in commercial or industrial settings. MERV filters are designed to remove large airborne particles from the air, such as dust, pollen, and mold spores.
MERV ratings are important because they can help you choose a filter that’s effective at removing the types of particles that you’re concerned about. For example, if you’re looking to remove dust, pollen, and pet dander from your air, then you’ll want to choose a filter with a relatively high MERV rating. On the other hand, if you’re simply trying to remove large particles, such as hair and lint, then a lower-rated filter will suffice.
A HEPA filter is a type of air filter that is designed to remove very small particles from the air. HEPA stands for “high-efficiency particulate air,” and these filters are often used in hospitals, cleanrooms, and other environments where air quality is a concern. HEPA filters work by trapping particles in a dense network of fibers. The fibers are arranged in a way that allows air to flow through them, but particles are caught and held within the filter. As a result, HEPA filters are extremely effective at removing particles such as dust, pollen, and pet dander from the air.
While they are often used in industrial settings, HEPA filters can also be found in many household vacuums and air purifiers. HEPA filters are available in a variety of grades, with each grade removing a different percentage of particles from the air. The higher the HEPA rating, the better the filter is at removing particles from the air.
Choosing Your Filter
There are a few different factors that you need to consider when deciding whether to use a MERV filter or a HEPA filter. The first is the size of the particles that you are trying to remove from the air. If you are only concerned with removing large particles, then a MERV filter will be sufficient. However, if you need to remove smaller particles, such as dust or pollen, then you will need to use a HEPA filter.
The second factor is the level of filtration that you require. MERV filters are available in different ratings, which indicate the percentage of particles that they can remove from the air. If you only need a moderate level of filtration, then a lower-rated MERV filter will be sufficient. However, if you require a higher level of filtration, then you will need to use a HEPA filter.
The third factor is the cost of replacement filters. MERV filters are typically less expensive than HEPA filters, so if you are on a tight budget, then MERV may be the better option for you. However, keep in mind that HEPA filters will last longer than MERV filters, so they may be more cost-effective in the long run.
Reach Out for Professional HVAC Help
If you need help choosing the right type of filter for your home, IBBOTSON Heating & Air Conditioning Co. in Arlington Heights can help. Our team of qualified technicians offers comprehensive HVAC services, including heating and cooling repairs, maintenance, and installation. We would be happy to help you find the perfect air filter for your home and answer any other questions that you may have about your HVAC system. Our team also works with indoor air quality solutions, such as humidifiers and air purifiers. Give us a call today to set up an appointment for any of our services.