MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. In other words, it determines how effective your air filter is. MERV ratings range from 1-16. The higher the MERV rating on a filter, the fewer dust particles and contaminants can pass through it.
Most residential systems can adequately remove airborne contaminants with a filter rated MERV 7-13. We offer filters with MERV ratings 8, 11, and 13.
Our MERV 8 AllergenProtector filters lint, dust, pollen, mold, and dust mites. This filter will provide the most benefit in a small home with one or two people.
Our MERV 11 AllergenAttacker filters lint, dust, pollen, mold, dust mites, bacteria, pet dander, and smog. We recommend this filter for families and people with pets.
Our MERV 13 AllergenDestroyer provides the highest level of filtration for your home. The AllergenWarrior will filter lint, dust, pollen, dust mites, bacteria, mold spores, pet dander, car fumes, smog, tobacco smoke, smoke, virus carriers, and microscopic allergens. If you or your family struggle with allergies or asthma, this filter will keep your home's air the healthiest.
All central heating and cooling systems should have an air filter, but the filter may be harder to locate on some HVAC units than others. The air filter is usually located in the return air duct or blower compartment before the return air reaches the air handler. This allows the filter to clean the air coming from your house before it enters the HVAC unit.
Common locations for air filters in HVAC units include:
- First, check you ceilings and walls for return ducts and your filter will be inside there
- Check your attic, inside your air handler and check your closet, inside the air handler.
- On horizontal HVAC units with the return duct attached to the side of the air handler, the filter often fits in a slot on the return air (intake) side of the unit.
- On vertical air handlers with the return air duct entering on the top of the air handler, the filter often slides into a slot above the HVAC unit.
- On vertical air handlers with the return air duct entering below the air handler, the filter often fits in a slot located below the HVAC unit.
- On other HVAC systems, the air filter may be located behind the return air grill on a wall in your home.
- On HVAC systems with a return in each room, there may be an air filter behind each of the return grills.
Measure the Length, Measure the Width, and Measure the thickness (depth). This will equal LxWxD. For example, a 20x20x1 size filter is 20 inches long, 20 inches wide, and 1 inch deep.
Most air filters in your home will also have the dimensions written on the side of the air filter.
Your air filter may be half an inch smaller than the closest whole number. For example, a filter that says 20x20x1 on it may actually measure 19.5x19x5.1. This is so the air filter fits perfectly in your return vent without having to jam it in to fit. If you have to jam an air filter to fit, chances are you need a smaller filter size.
Tip: Round up to the nearest whole number to find the right air filter dimensions
The higher the MERV rating on your filter the more often you need to change them (at least every three months) to avoid restricted airflow that can cause your system to work inefficiently or possibly even damage it.
For basic 1"-3" air filters, manufacturers usually direct you to change them every 30-60 days.
- Add more than one pet or anyone has allergies: 20-45 days
- Home with one pet: Every 60 days
- Small home without pets: every 90 days
- Vacation home: every 6-12 months
Changing your air filter on a regular basis will result in noticeable changes within your home. Here are some quick benefits of changing your HVAC air filter:
- Healthier indoor air free of dust, pollen, allergens, microscopic bacteria, and other contaminants. It can also help reduce the amount of contaminants in the air that can trigger asthma or allergy sufferers. In addition, if you use household cleaners often, air fresheners, or smoke in your home, this will add to the indoor pollutants in your home which could be harmful to your health. To filter these harmful contaminants, it is best to regularly change your air filters and also choose the right MERV rated filter to optimize you and your families air quality and health.
- Increased efficiency and cost-savings because your HVAC system isn’t being slowed down by restricted air flow. This can increase electricity usage and thus higher electric bills.
- Longer life for your HVAC system. The interior of your system will also remain clean, keeping buildup from leading to expensive maintenance or system failure
- It’s environmentally-friendly, because if your system is working harder through slowed air flow and a clogged filter, it uses more energy, electricity and more greenhouse gases are produced
We all live busy lives and are constantly looking for ways to free up our time to spend it where we enjoy it most. What better way to free up time than giving the dreaded task of remembering to change your air filters and picking them up to CleanAir! Our prices are comparable with those to your local hardware store, and we send you air filters right when they need to be replaced. Not to mention, if you try us out and aren't satisfied we have a simple cancellation process.
- Know where your air filter are located in your home.
- Check out our "Where Are My Filters Located in My Home" FAQ.