When choosing an air filter for your home heating or cooling system, you must be aware of the air cleaning and filtering capacity of the filter you choose. Filters have efficiency ratings that can help you determine which filter is best for your particular needs. These ratings, called MERV numbers, can tell you whether or not the filter will be able to remove particulates such as dust and pollen to clean your air to a suitable level. Here is a brief introduction to MERV ratings and what they mean.
The Meaning of MERV
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, which is a standard measure of air filter efficiency and performance. A filter’s MERV rating indicates how effective it is at capturing small airborne particulates as air circulates through your HVAC system. MERV ratings indicate a filter’s capacity to remove particulates between 0.3 and 10 microns in size.
Uses of MERV Filters
MERV ratings for filters used in most residential settings range from 1 to 16. There are filters available with MERV ratings of 17 to 20, but these are usually extremely high-quality filters that require specialized mountings. Higher-MERV filters are also thicker and more dense than lower-MERV models. Before using a high-MERV filter, you must be certain that your HVAC system has the airflow capacity to support it.
Lower-MERV filters are often very inexpensive, but their ability to filter your indoor air is limited.
- MERV 1-4 filters are usually only good at collecting larger particles of 10 microns and above.
- MERV 2-8 filters are medium-quality, and can remove particles of 3 microns and larger.
- MERV 9-12 filters are considered high quality and can easily capture particulates of 1 micron and larger.
- MERV 13-16 filters are the highest quality typically used in residential systems and work best at filtering out smaller particulates.
Conditioned Air provides professional, courteous HVAC sales, installation, and repair services for customers in Sarasota, Bradenton, Ft. Myers, and other communities in southwest Florida. Contact us today for more information on MERV ratings and choosing the proper filter for your home heating or cooling system.
Ultraviolet light has been used in hospitals for years to kill pathogens like bacteria and viruses as part of the sterilization process. By using a similar technique, a UV light air purifier can help to keep the air in your home healthier, which is especially useful in humid areas like Southwest Florida. There are three different types of UV light air purifiers, but they all function in a similar fashion.
UV Light Air Purifier Types
The most common UV-based air purifiers are:
- Air handler-mounted purifiers: One or more UV lights is mounted inside the air handler cabinet, illuminating the filter, the evaporator coil and the interior surface of the air handler.
- Duct-mounted purifiers: A special system including UV lights is mounted in the duct system, typically on the return side.
- Standalone systems: These are self-contained air purifiers that can be used in any room, up to the rated capacity of the system.
How They Work
The UV light inside the air purifier shines on any microorganisms located on nearby surfaces or in the air stream, within a certain distance from the UV source. Any viruses, bacteria or other microorganisms that are exposed to the light for more than about half a second will have their RNA or DNA degraded by the UV light, killing them.
Certain types of UV-based air purifiers work better than others, because they allow the microorganisms to be exposed to the UV light for a longer period. Generally, air handler-based systems or well-designed standalone systems produce better air quality than a duct-mounted system, which sometimes has air moving too quickly to treat effectively. A properly-designed system, however, can overcome this.
UV light can also break down odors and volatile organic compounds, leaving the air fresh. Moreover, it can reduce A/C maintenance by keeping the evaporator coil cleaner and preventing algae growth that clogs the condensate drain.
To learn more about the benefits of a UV light air purifier, talk to our team at Conditioned Air. We serve Southwest Florida, including the communities between Bradenton and Marco Island.
In some homes, issues with heating and cooling may make it difficult to use a standard furnace, heat pump, or air conditioner. If this is the case, a zoning system is often the best and most practical answer. Here is a brief introduction to how they work to keep your home comfortable.
What Is a Zoning System?
Zone Systems concentrate heating or cooling in specific areas, or zones, of your home. Zones can be as small as a single room or as large as an entire floor of the structure.
They work in tandem with your existing HVAC system to ensure better and more precise control of comfort levels in the appropriate areas. They use a series of individual thermostats to control temperatures in the zones. Motorized dampers in the ductwork open or close in response to temperature needs, either increasing or decreasing the amount of heating and cooling reaching the zone. In this way, a zone system allows for precise temperature control within the one area without affecting temperatures in surrounding zones.
Why Use a Zoning System?
These systems are useful when you need better control over the heating and cooling in your home. For example, they help when:
- It is difficult to provide consistent levels of heating or cooling throughout your home because of large floor plans.
- Occupants need or want different levels of heating or cooling in their rooms. This allows individual temperature preferences to be met and eliminates conflicts.
- Certain rooms or floors of your home need more heating or cooling than others.
- Areas of your home need to have the amount of heating or cooling reduced because they aren’t being used.
Conditioned Air serves Ft. Myers, Sarasota, Bradenton, and the surrounding southwest Florida communities with top-quality HVAC services. Contact us today for more information on the uses and benefits of a zoning system and for expert advice on whether a zone system is the best choice for your home.