Wildfires are raging around Oregon. The smoke from our area is so strong that it’s reached across the United States. And now, the Pacific Northwest is seeing air quality that is so poor that it’s off the charts. Smoke inhalation can be very damaging to your lungs. This last week we’ve heard from many customers asking what kind of filters work well to promote better indoor air quality.
Air filter basics:
Air filters are small, but they play a big part in how your heating and cooling system functions. The concept is simple: air that comes in from the outside hits the air filter and the filter will capture harmful particles and debris. That means the air you’re breathing has less toxins, dust, or other contaminants that contribute to sickness, allergies, or asthma.
The filter in your system is not designed to last for months on end. It should be cleaned or replaced every other month. In times like these with heavy smoke coming in from the outside, it should be changed monthly. Furnace filters that are one inch should be changed more often than those that are thicker (4 inches).
What is a MERV rating?
When you’re researching filters, you will run across this: The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating. This refers to how much matter passes through your air filter. The ratings are from 1 to 16. The higher the MERV rating, the better it will be to filter the air.
• 1 to 4 MERV rating: captures particles that are bigger than 10 micrometers, such as bugs dust mites, and other household debris
• 5 to 8 MERV rating: catches particles bigger than 3 micrometers, such as mold and pet dander
• 9 to 12 MERV rating: catches particles bigger than 1 micrometer, including dust and other common pollutants.
• 13 to 16 MERV rating: captures particles greater than 0.3 micrometers such as bacteria or smoke/pollution
Particles of smoke are smaller; an air filter with a MERV rating of 11 or higher would be efficient enough to get them out of the air you breathe.
Should you install an air purification system?
Climate Control experts install a variety of air purification systems that can help keep the air you breathe clean and healthy. One of our most popular products is the Carrier Infinity DGAPA Air Purifier. This has a MERV rating of 15. It works with your existing heating and cooling system, using Carrier’s unique Capture and Kills™ technology that traps up to 95% of particles, killing or inactivating them with an electrical charge.
Have more questions? Contact us today for answers or to schedule an appointment.