Is Merv 13 the Right Choice for HVAC Systems?

Learn about MERV ratings and how they affect your HVAC system's air quality. Find out if MERV 13 is the right choice for your home.

Is Merv 13 the Right Choice for HVAC Systems?

When it comes to air quality, filters with a MERV rating of 8 or lower are not effective enough to trap enough particles. On the other hand, filters with a MERV rating of 13 or higher are not necessary and are usually not compatible with domestic air conditioning systems. This is because a decrease in airflow can cause unwanted effects on the cooling side of the air conditioner. The cold coil in the air handler has a preferred operating temperature that is based on the amount of hot air flowing through it and the refrigerant that passes through the copper tube.

If a high MERV filter is used, it can reduce airflow through this important part of the system, causing the cold coil to freeze and become an ice ball, completely blocking airflow. This can lead to more costly problems in the outer capacitor coil. The good news is that most modern HVAC systems have no problem operating with higher MERV filters. The main risk is that they remain unchanged for long periods of time. If you remember to change your filters regularly, you should not experience any issues related to the filters in your air conditioning system.

Generally speaking, filters with higher MERV ratings capture higher percentages of particles, as well as smaller particles.

What Is The Ideal MERV Rating For Air Quality?

The MERV-13 rating is usually considered ideal for achieving good air quality. It is similar to the material used in an N95 dust mask. If you prioritize air quality and may have to deal with asthma, severe allergies, or other similar circumstances, then a filter with a MERV 13 rating or higher is recommended.

What Is Allison's Opinion On MERV 13 Filters?

Allison's opinion is that a MERV 13 filter may not be necessary. However, peace of mind is priceless and if you think it would work for you, then go ahead and use it - just make sure to replace dirty filters frequently enough (every week or two depending on the MERV index, filter size, and amount of particles entering your home).

How To Clean Alcohol-Based Filters?

When washing alcohol-based filters, you could create some strange and potentially dangerous chemicals.

To avoid this, use sunlight to disinfect them - although this could weaken high Merv filters and release unwanted chemicals. Alternatively, degassing an activated carbon filter with high Merv content could be your best bet.

Do Surgeries And HVAC Systems Use Fiberglass Filters?

Finally, keep in mind that surgeries and HVAC systems do not use fiberglass filters.

Tammy Spangenberg
Tammy Spangenberg

Amateur coffeeaholic. Subtly charming internet guru. Devoted twitter junkie. Hardcore social media specialist. Award-winning writer. Wannabe twitter aficionado.

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