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Will a higher MERV filter affect my air flow?

June 1st, 2017

A more efficient filter is more effective at removing particles from the air as it enters your HVAC system. Conversely, a less efficient filter allows more dirt and dust into your system. This dust and dirt will either land somewhere in the system or circulate back into the house. Dust and dirt on critical parts of your HVAC system will increase your fuel consumption and increase repair and maintenance bills. Dust and dirt circulated back into your home is just plain unhealthy. Who needs that?

Ironically, the effectiveness of low efficiency air filters actually increases as the filter loads up with dirt and dust. There are two problems, though. First, it takes time for the filter to be loaded enough to get a beneficial effect so that everything that gets by the filter ends up either in your system or back in your home. Second, eventually the filter can become so dirty that the system experiences a pressure drop which can burn out the fan motor. To prevent this you have to change the filter, which takes you right back to the first problem. For the brief time that you get a small benefit from your low efficiency filter is far outweighed by the problems it creates.

A high efficiency filter is immediately beneficial because it works right away. This filter also needs frequent changing for the same reason—it can become overloaded and damage your system.

The cost-benefit equation is simple: For a few extra dollars you can ensure that your HVAC system is as clean as possible and the air in your home is effectively filtered just by using an efficient air filter that is changed regularly. It’s an easy task that FilterEasy makes even easier.