With so many homeowners becoming aware of the importance of indoor air quality (IAQ), HEPA filters and MERV ratings have become common acronyms in air filter nomenclature. Understanding what these acronyms stand for is essential to improving IAQ and making the home a more comfortable, safer environment. HEPA filtration is a very effective approach to reducing contaminants in any home, so it’s important to become acquainted with how HEPA filtration works.
What Is a HEPA Filter?
High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are designed to effectively collect particulates, contaminants, dust and other materials from outdoor air before they circulate through your home. In order for an air filter to meet the HEPA requirements, the filter itself must be able to remove a minimum of 99.97 percent of contaminants as small as 0.3 microns in size.
What Is a MERV Rating?
The minimum efficiency reporting value, or MERV rating, is a scale from which individuals can estimate the ability of an air filter to prevent unwanted materials from seeping into the indoor air. For HEPA filters, a MERV rating between 17-20 is required. In short, the higher the MERV rating of an air or furnace filter, the more effective it will be at keeping viruses or contaminants from getting into a home’s air ducts.
How Does HEPA Differ from Regular Filters?
By utilizing a variety of filtration techniques, including sieving, interception, diffusion and inertial impaction, HEPA filters are able to prevent many more particulates, contaminants and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from entering the home’s ventilation system. When compared to regular air filters, HEPA filters are better engineered to eliminate a vast majority of airborne particles that non-HEPA filters simply cannot catch.
If you would like to learn more about improving your home’s IAQ with HEPA filtration, contact Ross & Witmer today. We’re proud to provide top-notch HVAC service to North Carolina homeowners.