It’s a question that haunts business owners and facility managers alike: How often to change a MERV 13 filter? The answer, as it turns out, is not as straightforward as one might think. MERV ratings measure how well an air filter captures particles from the air. The higher the MERV rating, the more particles the filter will capture. Most industrial and commercial facilities use air filters with a MERV rating of 13 or higher. In this article, we will discuss the different types of MERV 13 filters, how often they need to be changed, and why Rensa filters through R.P. Fedder are in a league of their own for quality and cost-saving efficiency.
What is a MERV rating?
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. It’s a measure of how well an air filter captures particles from the air. All filters have a MERV rating that falls between 1 and 20. The higher the MERV rating, the more particles the filter will capture. Most industrial and commercial facilities use air filters with a MERV rating of 13 or higher. Filters with high MERV ratings are recommended wherever super-clean air is desired or required.
The MERV rating system was developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). ASHRAE is an international organization that sets standards for the heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration industries. But MERV ratings may vary from one brand to the next. One filter with a MERV rating of 14 may be able to remove volatile organic compounds from the air, while a different filter with the same rating may not be able to. Reasons include:
- Filter frames and gaskets inside HVAC systems can negatively impact filter efficiency.
- Synthetic, charged coarse-fiber filters drop in MERV rating as they’re used.
- Some manufacturers claim MERV ratings that their filters simply don’t have.
To counter this, R.P. Fedder carries and recommends the line of Rensa premium filters for facilities looking to upgrade their filter efficiency.
How often do MERV 13 filters need to be changed?
MERV 13 filters typically need to be changed every three to six months. However, the frequency with which you need to change your filter depends on a number of factors, including:
- The type / brand of filter you’re using.
- The size of your HVAC system.
- The amount of air that’s being processed by your system.
- The level of contamination in the air.
If you have a commercial or industrial facility with high ceilings, for example, you may need to change your filters more often than if you have a smaller office space with lower ceilings. The type of filter you’re using will also affect how often it needs to be changed. Some filters, such as those made with pleated media, can last up to 12 months before needing to be replaced.
What are the different types of MERV 13 filters?
There are two main types of MERV 13 filters: pleated and panel.
- Pleated filters have more surface area than panel filters, which means they can capture more particles. A pleat is a fold in the filter material that creates more surface area. This allows the filter to capture more particles, but over time as dust builds up, it also requires more air pressure to operate and that can put a strain on your HVAC system.
- Panel filters are less effective at capturing particles than pleated filters, which means they hold less dust over time, therefore requiring less air pressure to operate. This makes them ideal for facilities with HVAC systems that are already under strain.
Learn More about MERV 13 filters.
Are some MERV 13 filters better than others?
Yes, there are some MERV 13 filters that are better than others. The best MERV 13 filters are those that have a high initial efficiency and a low pressure drop. Initial efficiency is how well the filter captures particles when it’s first installed. Pressure drop is how much resistance the filter creates to air flow. A high initial efficiency and low pressure drop means that the filter will capture more particles without putting a strain on your HVAC system.
Rensa filters through R.P. Fedder are among the most efficient air filters on the market, with MERV ratings of 13 and higher.
What problems do dirty filters cause?
Dirty filters can cause a number of problems, including:
- Reduced air flow: A dirty filter will restrict air flow through your HVAC system, which can lead to increased energy costs and decreased comfort.
- Increased strain on your HVAC system: A dirty filter will put a strain on your HVAC system, which can lead to costly repairs.
- Poor indoor air quality: A dirty filter can allow contaminants to build up in your facility, which can lead to respiratory problems and other health issues.
How do MERV 13 filters affect HVAC systems?
MERV 13 filters can put strain on your HVAC system if they are not used properly. For example, if you have a pleated filter, it is important to make sure that the filter is the correct size for your HVAC system. If the filter is too big or too small, it will either affect air flow (which can strain your system) or will allow particles to bypass the filter entirely.
It is also important to change your filter on a regular basis. A dirty filter will restrict air flow and put strain on your HVAC system.
What are the differences between a MERV 13 and HEPA filter?
A HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filter is a type of air filter that is designed to capture very small particles. HEPA filters are often used in hospitals and other clean environments.
The main difference between a MERV 13 and a HEPA filter is that a MERV 13 filter is designed to capture larger particles, while a HEPA filter is designed to capture very small particles.
In a commercial or industrial setting, a MERV 13 filter is typically better than a HEPA filter. This is because MERV 13 filters are more efficient at capturing larger particles, which are more common in these settings. Additionally, MERV 13 filters put less strain on HVAC systems than HEPA filters.
- MERV 13 filters can be used in a wider variety of HVAC systems than HEPA filters.
- MERV 13 filters don’t require as much air pressure to operate, which means they put less strain on your HVAC system.
- MERV 13 filters have a lower initial pressure drop than HEPA filters
- MERV 13 filters are less expensive than HEPA filters.
How do you know when a filter needs to be changed?
There are a few telltale signs that it’s time to change your MERV 13 filter:
- If you can see dirt or dust on the filter.
- If the filter is discolored.
- If the air flow from your HVAC system has decreased.
- If your energy bills have increased.
- Decreased air flow.
- Increased HVAC system maintenance.
- If your HVAC system seems to be working harder than usual.
One way to tell for sure is to simply keep track of how long the filter has been in use and replace it every three to six months, depending on the specific filter and the environment in which it’s being used. This will ensure that your filter is doing its job and that your HVAC system is running efficiently.
What to look for in a quality commercial or industrial air filter
When you’re looking for a quality commercial or industrial air filter, there are a few things you should keep in mind:
- Efficiency: The efficiency of an air filter is measured by its MERV rating. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter.
- Air flow: Air flow is how much air an HVAC system can move through a filter. The higher the air flow, the more efficient the filter.
- Initial pressure drop: Initial pressure drop is measured before a filter has been installed and says how much resistance an air filter has to air flow. The lower the initial pressure drop, the more efficient the filter. (NOTE: Having said that, the longer a filter is used and the dirtier it gets, the higher the pressure drop over time.)
How to choose the right filter?
We can guide you through the best choice given your existing equipment, interior environment, energy use and overall budget, while enabling you to provide the highest levels of air quality to your building’s occupants. And we’ll help protect your HVAC equipment components, too.
We keep on-hand a wide range and inventory of filters for commercial and industrial uses, and if we don’t have it, we can get it quickly. Available for pick up or delivery, including:
- V-bank filters
- HEPA Filters
- Paint booth filters
- Pleated filters
- Polyester disposables
- Fiberglass disposables
- Poly panel filters
- Poly links filters
- Poly sleeve roll media
- Frames & filter housings, filter clips
- Aluminum washable filters (Economizer)
- Dust collector filters
- Cleanroom filtration products
- Residential air cleaner replacement filters (Air Bear, Spaceguard)
- Customer-size furnace filters (Pleated, Poly, Fiberglass)
How did the COVID-19 virus changed air filter recommendations?
The COVID-19 virus – when it was a new and emerging threat – had many governing bodies researching and debating the right way to mitigate its threat.
At one point, the CDC recommended that facilities use air filters with a MERV rating of 13 or higher. However, more recent studies showed that the COVID-19 virus could be transmitted through small particles, so the CDC began recommending air filters with a MERV rating of 16 or higher.
To help protect against COVID-19 virus, ASHRAE changed its recommendation from MERV 8 filters to MERV 13 and higher.
Why are Rensa filters in a league of their own for quality and cost-saving efficiency?
When it comes to commercial and industrial air filters, quality is important. But so is cost-effectiveness. That’s why Rensa filters are a great option for businesses. They are designed to last longer and capture more particles than other premium and standard brands, which can save you money on your energy bills and HVAC maintenance costs.
If you’re not sure which type of filter is right for your business, contact R.P. Fedder today. We can help you find the right filter for your needs and budget. And, we offer a full range of Rensa filters, so you’re sure to find the perfect one for your business.