Is MERV 16 Too Much for Your Home?

Filters with a MERV rating of 17 to 20 are rarely needed in a home. A MERV score of 13 to 16 is considered hospital-level air quality, so it's unlikely that your home requires more than that. The MERV, also known as the Minimum Efficiency Report Value, is a scale that measures the effectiveness of filters in trapping particles in the air. The scale ranges from 1 to 16, with 16 being the most effective. The short answer is yes, but it's not really a problem except in extreme cases.

Most modern HVAC systems have no difficulty working with higher MERV filters, so millions of homeowners rely on them. The main risk of high-efficiency air filters is that they remain unchanged for extended periods of time. If you're regularly changing filters, it's unlikely that you'll experience any filter-related issues with your HVAC system.If you're looking to introduce a carbon filter, the only issue is that the carbon filter is a Merv 8.Research has found that while filters with a high MERV content can create some pressure drop, the impact is not significant unless the filter is laden with dirt. ASHRAE recommends MERV 13 and 14, but it's best to select a filter with the highest possible MERV rating for your specific HVAC system.

The worst percentage of the six tests is selected as the official measure used to determine the MERV rating of a filter. Pleated filters that are MERV 8 to 13, unlike fiberglass, can effectively filter small particles and reduce the pressure drop (this is the closest thing to MerVana you can find).Although MERV 8 is known to be effective in filtering contaminants such as pollen, dust mites, sawdust, mold spores and lint from the air, higher MERV ratings will further clean the air. Filter technology has advanced significantly over the years, and MERV ratings are designed to help us determine the most effective and efficient air filter options for heating and cooling systems and more. In general, filters with higher MERV values capture higher percentages of particles, as well as smaller particles.

These filters are slightly more restrictive than MERV 1-4 filters and have the ability to trap mold spores and some pet dander along with dust and pollen. Washing an alcohol could very well be creating some strange chemicals, unless you're just washing cotton. It's best to use sunlight to disinfect them, even though it could break Merv's high filters a little and release unwanted, potentially dangerous chemicals. Degassing an activated carbon filter with a high Merv content could be your best option between you and any other exotic chemical action you may have in place. Filters with higher MERV values should be changed more frequently (at least every three months) to avoid restricted airflow that could cause the system to operate inefficiently or even damage it. MERV 13 will prevent less than 75% of 0.3-1.0 micron particles from passing through, MERV 14 will reach 84%, MERV 15 up to 94%, and MERV 16 can trap 95% or more of the smaller particles.

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