Does a High MERV Filter Restrict Airflow?

The short answer is yes, but it's not really a problem, except in extreme circumstances. Most modern HVAC systems have no problem working with high MERV filters, which is why millions of homeowners depend on them. The main risk of high-efficiency air filters comes from the fact that they are not modified for long periods of time. If you keep abreast of changing filters, you are unlikely to experience any filter related issues with your HVAC system.

Typically, a filter with a higher MERV rating will reduce airflow. However, there are many other factors at play, such as the size of the filter and the type of fan motor in your HVAC system. Why are high merv air filters a problem, at least for some ovens? Because air filters restrict airflow and your HVAC equipment needs enough airflow to operate efficiently and durably. MERV stands for Minimum Value of Efficiency Reports.

A MERV rating indicates a score of 1 to 16 for residential air filters sold in the United States and 17 to 20 for commercial air filters. This scale assesses how well a filter removes fine particles from incoming air. The higher the MERV rating, the more particles the filter removes. On average, it is recommended that most homes and general commercial spaces have a filter with a MERV rating of at least 5 to 12 in the high-end.

However, for a person with respiratory problems, a specialist may recommend a different filter. Hospitals use air filters with a MERV rating of 13 to 16. They also found that airflow in the high MERV filters decreased by 7% and 11% in the two HVAC systems compared to the low MERV filters. Similarly, the medium MERV filters also showed a decrease in airflow relative to the low MERV filters, this time 3% and 8% lower in both systems. When installing an air cleaner with a high MERV rating, two things happen: first, your air becomes cleaner, which can help improve the longevity of your HVAC system.

The more particles that are trapped, the less they will get stuck inside the vent and the better the airflow. Many people don't consider how a filter with a high MERV rating will affect other parts of the HVAC system. AC Troubleshooting: If this problem occurs after installing a high MERV filter, the problem is likely to be the filter. When you have a Merv filter 13 and higher, it's more similar to the material you'd find in an n95 dust mask.

Okay, let's get into the details of why a high MERV oven filter might not be good for your oven. The Merv 16 would be the best as it will leak 95%. There is a YouTube video showing how to make your own N95 with a Merv 16 filter. A MERV rating is a good indication of the effectiveness of an air filter in your central split HVAC system.

Here's what you need to know to ensure you have the correct MERV rating compared to the airflow filter for your space. In fact, researchers have found that while high MERV filters can create some pressure drop, the impact is not significant unless the filter is loaded with dirt. Fortunately I have a 3D printer and have printed a face mask with a MERV 13 filter. In addition, high MERV air filters that contain pleats create much more surface area for air to blow, which can improve airflow and reduce strain on the system.

Filters with higher MERV ratings should be changed more frequently (at least every three months) to avoid restricted airflow that can cause the system to operate inefficiently or even damage it. If you want to use pleated filters and superior MERV filters, the only safe way to do this is to have a 5-6 inch media filter installed by a professional.

Conrad Sobczyk
Conrad Sobczyk

Award-winning beer aficionado. Wannabe burrito evangelist. Hipster-friendly pop culture practitioner. Total coffee trailblazer. Incurable zombie specialist. Hardcore webaholic.

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