Everything You Need to Know About Air Filters and MERV Ratings

When it comes to air filters, there are many different types and MERV ratings to consider. From pleated filters to rigid cell filters, electronic air purifiers, and HEPA filters, it can be difficult to know which type of filter is best for your HVAC system. In this article, we'll discuss the different types of air filters available, the MERV rating system, and how to choose the right filter for your home or business. Air filters are used in HVAC systems to remove contaminants from the air.

The most common type of filter is the pleated filter, which is made of a polyester or polypropylene felt material. This material is designed to trap particles as small as 0.3 microns in size. The Sutherland Felt Company is one of the leading manufacturers of pleated air filters.Rigid cell filters are another type of air filter that can be used in HVAC systems. These filters are made from a combination of metal and plastic and are designed to trap particles as small as 0.3 microns in size.

They are more durable than pleated filters and can last up to three times longer.Electronic air purifiers use an electrostatic charge to attract particles and trap them in a filter. These filters are more effective at trapping smaller particles than pleated or rigid cell filters, but they require more maintenance and can be more expensive.HEPA filters are the most effective type of air filter available. They are designed to trap particles as small as 0.3 microns in size and can remove up to 99.97% of airborne particles from the air. HEPA filters are often used in hospitals and other medical facilities where air quality is a priority.The MERV rating system is used to measure the effectiveness of an air filter.

The higher the MERV rating, the more effective the filter is at trapping particles. The ratings range from 1-4 (MERV 1-4) for basic particle filtering, 5-8 (MERV 5-8) for medium particle filtering, 9-12 (MERV 9-12) for high particle filtering, and 13-16 (MERV 13-16) for very high particle filtering.When choosing an air filter for your HVAC system, it's important to consider the size of the filter you need as well as the MERV rating. For example, if you have a 20x20x1 air filter, you'll need a 20x25x1 filter with a MERV rating of at least 8 or higher. If you have an OEM oven filter, you'll need a replacement oven filter with a MERV rating of at least 11 or higher.In addition to choosing the right size and MERV rating for your air filter, you should also consider other options such as activated carbon filters or baking soda filters.

Activated carbon filters can help reduce odors and VOCs in your home or business while baking soda filters can help reduce pet hair, dust, and other allergens.When it comes to residential HVAC systems, it's important to replace your air filter every three months or so to ensure optimal air filtration capabilities. For commercial HVAC systems, it's recommended that you replace your air filter every six months or so.


Choosing the right air filter for your HVAC system can be a daunting task. However, by understanding the different types of air filters available and their respective MERV ratings, you can make an informed decision that will help improve your indoor air quality while also reducing energy costs.At Sentry Air Systems, we offer a wide selection of air filters at discount prices with fast shipping and easy returns. Whether you need a 20x20x1 air filter with a MERV 3 rating or a 20x25x1 filter with a MERV 11 rating, we have what you need at prices that won't break the bank.

Yvonne Hillenbrand
Yvonne Hillenbrand

Avid bacon enthusiast. Wannabe foodaholic. . Hardcore twitter practitioner. Friendly twitter trailblazer. General social media expert.

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