Have ya ever thought, “Merv, schmerv…what and who the heck is MERV, anyway?” No? Well, we have, and MERV can tell you a lot about how well HVAC filters get the job done, but it doesn’t tell you everything. Here’s what matters about MERV.
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. It’s a comparison value rating system developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). It measures a filter’s ability to capture dirt, dust and critters as air passes through. Okay, so that’s enough of the dull stuff. Basically, the higher the MERV rating the better the filter works at trapping certain types and sizes of airborne junk. But there’s a catch (pun totally intended!)
The Catch: the better a filter filters (i.e. the higher the MERV rating), the more resistance there is when air is pushed through it. This can create some issues. Not all HVAC systems are built to move air through certain types of filters without creating so much resistance that your system’s performance is affected and may even shut down.
So, what’s a Homeowner to Do?
Okay, we get it…it’s a freakin’ air filter. What’s the big deal? We say, it’s air, dude. Try livin’ without it. Think about where you live, who lives with you and your lifestyle. Technology may be moving past MERV, so take it into account, but dig a little deeper into what’s inside an air filter too.
You’re probably familiar with cardboard-framed filters with pleats. They can be 1-6 inches thick. Most homeowners use these, and they do a pretty good job, but there are some potential problems:
Pleating the filter material creates more surface area to trap junk in the air moving through a filter. The key here is surface area – there’s only so much surface and once that gets gunked up it’s not doing the job for you.
The finer the filter material the better it will filter air, but that creates resistance your system may not be designed to handle. That’s inefficient and wastes energy.
The cardboard frame presents two problems. Most cardboard filters you buy at Big Box stores don’t fit snugly round the edges. When you slide them into your HVAC system there’s a little bit of wiggle room. That little bit of space lets unfiltered air bypass the filter. It’s called blow-by and just like water, air takes the path of least resistance and disproportionately rushes around a cardboard-framed filter, sending dirty air into your HVAC system. This mucks up not only your HVAC motor but blows pet dander, allergens, etc. directly into your home. Problem #4: Finally, cardboard itself can absorb moisture, weakening the structure, and potentially harboring mold and mildew. That lets even more air go around it along with dust mites, mold spores, pollen, germs, etc., that, again, gets blown through your house. Yuck – especially for people with asthma, allergies, or other breathing issues.
Yoor Air filters solve all that. They look different, work differently, and do a better job. No, seriously...
Yoor Air filters are thinner and create less resistance than some of the cardboard box filters but there’s actually more surface area getting the job done because of the layers of material – think sifting sand. That’s because the gunk gets trapped in the filter, not just on the filter, and less resistance means it will last longer.
Yoor Air filters don’t have pleats, cuz pleats suck. Yoor Air filters have layers of polyester fiber to trap varying sizes of dust, gunk and microbes layer by layer inside the filter as air passes through. (It’s a little more complicated than that, but we’ll save you all the techy lingo jargon – you’re welcome.)
Yoor Air filters are made with a sleek galvanized wire frame embedded inside the layers of filter material. The stiff frame holds the filter in place and won’t wick any moisture that could damage your system like cardboard can.
The Yoor Air filter fabric extends beyond the galvanized frame to create a flange or gasket around all four sides of the filter. This fills in the space around your filterforcing ALL the air to go through the filter. That means no blow-by getting into and messing up your furnace. Less dust in your house.
So, are you confused or enlightened? We hope it’s the latter. Give Yoor Air Filters a try. We make it so simple to get clean air all day, every day, all the damn time.
No need to worry! Check out The Yoor Air Difference and be... convinced.