Contra Costa HVAC – HEPA, MERV Rating: What Does It All Mean?

contra costa hvac

Most Contra Costa homeowners know it’s important to change out the air filter on their heating and cooling system regularly. This helps to keep your HVAC equipment running efficiently, extends its life, and improves the quality of the air you breathe. There are a few acronyms that may “throw” you when shopping for a new filter, such as MERV ratings and HEPA filters. What do these terms mean?

You may have heard of HEPA filters but not known exactly what they are. HEPA stands for high efficiency particulate air; these types of filters are different from the cheap, traditional air filters often used in heating and cooling systems due to the fact they filter out nearly 100% (99.97) of airborne particles including dust, mites, dander, and other contaminants. It may be necessary to have your system retrofitted by your contractor, so check before you purchase this type of filter.

MERV, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value ratings, are used to rate how effective an air filter is when it comes to capturing particles in the air. The higher the MERV rating, the more airborne particles the filter captures, even those as small as 0.3 microns. While air filters typically have MERV ratings that range on a scale from 1 to 16, most Bay Area homes use those with a rating of 7 to 12. This is the most important factor to look for when buying a new filter for your A/C system.

Ultimately, using a good air filter and changing yours every 30 to 90 days will make your HVAC equipment perform more efficiently, clean the air, and could help to lower your energy bills.

Need more tips on how to improve the air quality inside your Contra Costa/San Francisco area home and extend the life of your equipment? Call your local Contra Costa HVAC company, Ortiz Heating & Air Conditioning, today.