You’ve probably heard that changing your air filters regularly is one of the most important things you can do to keep your indoor air healthful, but the type of air filters you use in your home is just as important. Become familiar with the two abbreviations that are frequently used with air filters, which are MERV and HEPA. MERV rating When you look at the various air filters offered at home improvement stores, you’ll see several numbers on the filters that all mean different things. One of the most important numbers to consider is the MERV rating of an air filter, which is usually the biggest number on the package. MERV is short for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and it tells you how efficient an air filter is. A rating of 1 is the lowest rating, while 16 is the highest. An air filter with a very high MERV rating is able to capture even the tiniest of airborne particles. However, don’t assume that purchasing filters with the highest MERV ratings is the best decision for your home. An air filter that is highly efficient will allow for less airflow since the filter is more dense in order to capture more air particles. This can put a lot of pressure on your HVAC system. Most residential HVAC systems work well with an air filter that has a MERV rating of between 8 and 11. We can help you determine whether your system can handle an air filter with a very high MERV rating. HEPA filters A HEPA filter is an extremely efficient air filter that can capture more than 99 percent of particles that are 0.3 microns or larger, including viruses. Remember, an air filter that’s highly efficient can restrict the airflow of your HVAC system, so a HEPA filter is not necessarily your best choice. If you have allergies or a respiratory condition, you could look into the installation of an air cleaner that uses HEPA filtration. Contact us at Senica Air Conditioning, Inc. to discuss your best options for air filters. We proudly serve the areas of Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater.