You’d think that MERV, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, would be a common rating on practically any HVAC filter’s packaging. Devised by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) as a helpful way to analyze and compare air filtration media performance, most companies rate their filters based on the MERV system.
However, that hasn’t stopped other companies or even some retail outlets from coming up with their own ratings systems. Some of these proprietary systems aren’t based on the criteria used by MERV. Instead, they may be aimed toward persuading shoppers to buy filters with lower quality.
Non-MERV air filters are often devoid of any rating on their packaging or they feature an alternative rating system such as FPR (Filter Performance Rating – Home Depot) or MPR (Microparticle Rating System – 3M). These alternative systems can be misleading because they don’t easily allow you to compare the filter’s efficiency with that of other brands. MERV, at least, is a neutral system so it’s easy enough to make cross-comparisons.
Without the right filter, your home’s HVAC system will suffer. For instance, a filter that’s too restrictive clogs up sooner, and will create dangerous pressure differences within the system itself. A filter that’s too loosely woven will allow all but the largest airborne particles to pass through the system, meaning inferior infiltration and a greater hazard to your health.
So what should you do if you encounter a filter with no MERV rating on the packaging? Ask one your retail store’s representatives if the filter comes with such a rating in the first place. If not, you’re better off looking for another filter. After all, there are plenty of other filters available with the information you need to make informed decisions about your HVAC system’s health.
For more information on MERV and its impact on your Fresno area home’s air quality, contact the professionals at Donald P. Dick Air Conditioning today.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Fresno, California area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about MERV ratings and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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