Does Using an Air Filter with Too Low of a MERV Rating Damage Your HVAC System?

Are you worried that using an air filter with a MERV rating that is too low could damage your HVAC system? The short answer is yes, but it's not really a problem except in extreme circumstances. Most modern HVAC systems have no problem operating with higher MERV filters, which is why millions of homeowners depend on them. The main risk of high-efficiency air filters is that they remain unchanged for long periods of time.If you don't get tired of changing your filters, you're unlikely to have any issues related to the filters in your air conditioning system. Regular air filter changes are essential to keep your system clean and operating efficiently, as well as to reduce energy bills if you have a boiler, air conditioner or heat pump in your home.

One of the most common causes of air conditioning problems is the clogging of the air filter, which can lead to system failure. Understanding MERV ratings can help you select the best filter for your system.Air filters with higher MERV ratings can filter more, but the thickness of the filter material can restrict airflow. A MERV 13 filter is likely to be effective if the goal is to prevent droplets from passing through. Choosing the right MERV rating is an important decision in terms of total cost, air quality, and product durability.

However, if you're concerned about outdoor air pollution, family members with respiratory problems, or the presence of pets in your home, opting for a higher MERV rating might be a good idea.In particular, using an air filter with a MERV rating that is too high can damage the compressor, heat exchanger and air conditioning coil. Using an air filter with a MERV rating that is too high is just as bad as using one that is too low. Washing an alcohol could very well create some strange and fun chemicals, unless you're just washing cotton, so it's best to use sunlight to disinfect them; even that could break the high Merv filters a bit and release unwanted, perhaps dangerous chemicals. Degassing an activated carbon filter with high Merv content could be your best bet between you and any other exotic chemical action you have going on.

A residential system will not accept filters with MERV ratings greater than 12 unless it has been previously adapted for a higher-efficiency filter.One thing to keep in mind is that a MERV 11 air filter may need to be changed more often than a MERV 8 air filter. Low-efficiency filters are usually within the MERV 1-4 range and high-efficiency filters are the MERV 13 and later. If you're concerned about the effects of breathing fine air particles, that's another reason to choose a MERV 11 air filter instead of a MERV 8 air filter. Meanwhile, air filters with a MERV 14 rating or higher are designed for commercial air conditioning systems that can withstand the coarsest filter material.So if you're trying to decide between a MERV 8 air filter and a MERV 11 air filter, here's what you need to know: Not all filters have a MERV nor do all filters have a Merv rating (26%), many of them are purchased at large stores.

However, if you want to ensure your HVAC system runs smoothly and efficiently while also protecting your family from airborne pollutants, then investing in an appropriate MERV rated filter is essential.

Alison Oliveria
Alison Oliveria

Total tv buff. Devoted beer geek. Hardcore twitter geek. Award-winning twitter fan. Extreme pop culture fanatic. Professional explorer.

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