HEPA filters were made to protect workers in nuclear power plants from inhaling radioactive dust. However, soon they made their way to hospitals, and now you are looking one for your home. Hence, before you go out and buy HEPA filters for your residences, let’s discuss a few essentials you need to know about, like the MERV rating, its role in air filtration, and how HEPA filters compare.
What Are HEPA filters:
HEPA filters have a robust frame featuring a twisted network of fine fiber mesh. The fibers are typically composed of fiberglass or polypropylene. However, the magic of these filters lies in their fiber arrangement. Air finds its way through the convoluted passageway, but the particle suspended in the air cannot. Hence, they lose track and get trapped in the fine mesh. This mechanical structure makes an excellent filter. Therefore, earning the name of High-Efficiency Particulate Air filter that can filter small particles of 0.3 microns with high efficiency of more than 99 percent.
MERV Ratings Of Air Filters:
MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value. It’s a standard scale that grades air filters according to their particle-removing ability.
MERV Rating 1 – 4: These are basic filters with low efficiency of less than 20% to remove particles of three to ten microns.
MERV Rating 5 – 7: These are relatively better filters with a varying efficiency of up to 69% in removing particles of size three to ten microns.
MERV Rating 8 – 10: They can remove large particles (three to ten microns) with an efficiency of 85%. However, for smaller particles, their efficiency varies between 20% to 65%.
MERV Ratings 11 – 13: Commercial filters with high efficiency and can remove more than 90% of particles greater than 1 micron. However, for particles smaller than 0.3 microns, the efficiency dramatically varies and depends on the MERV rating, with MERV 13 filters reporting a 75% efficiency.
MERV 17+: Highly efficient filters that can filter even the smallest of particles with an efficiency of 99%.
MERV For Home Filters And HEPA:
Typical home filters have a MERV of 8 – 10, and they can effectively filter out most of the air particles, except for every small particle like viruses. This can be an issue in a pandemic scenario like Covid-19, where you must be extra cautious about air quality. You can upgrade to MERV 13 filters that will provide you with superior protection. However, you cannot just replace HVAC duct filters with high MERV filters because of the extra load they will exert on the existing system. Hence, if you want to upgrade the filter, it’s better to buy a stand-alone filter for rooms your family uses the most, like bedrooms. The same goes for HEPA filters that usually have MERV 17. While your family enjoys better air quality, note that air filters with higher MERV capture more particles. Hence, they get clogged faster, so you need to replace them regularly. You can expect to replace them twice as fast.
It’s better to shop at a reliable store that provides high-quality filters and advises you if you want to upgrade your air filters MERV. Therefore, ask experts at Clean Liquid Systems about getting HEPA filters for your home. You can ring us at (713) 253-0100 to learn more about how we can help.