Will a Merv 13 Filter Hurt My Furnace?

The weather is freezing outside, and you have to put your furnace to good use. At the same time, there’s the air purifier with a MERV 13 filter that you can’t do without turning it on. Your only fear would be if these two devices could work well in the same room.

An air purifier with a MERV 13 rating will not damage your furnace. This value means that the air cleaner uses efficient filters that don’t harm other systems. A value higher than 13 will wreak havoc on your furnace. 

If you have a purifier with a rating that’s not 13, you’ll still wonder how much it can damage your furnace. Here, you’ll learn all you should about MERV ratings and how they can affect your furnace and indoor space. 

Definition of MERV

If you have ever read about your purifying system, “MERV” is a term that won’t be unfamiliar to you. MERV rating refers to an air filter’s Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This value indicates an air filter’s capability of filtering air out of the environment.

A filter with a low rating can only eliminate basic particles such as dust and pet dander. In contrast, a higher rating means the filter can remove smaller microscopic particles like smoke. As a result, places that suffer from smoke and other forms of pollution will require air purifiers with a higher MERV rating. 

Generally, this rating ranges from 1-20. Air filters with ratings of 1-16 are perfect for residences. Anything above that value is best for industrial purposes as they have more powerful filtering equipment.

For houses with furnaces, MERV 13 air filters are the most efficient. However, any air cleaner with a rating that’s more than this value can restrict airflow badly. As a result, it could damage your Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system necessitating extra maintenance costs.

Higher-rated cleaners are perfect for places like busy hospitals and other industries. Lower rates are also suitable for homes but might not be as effective as those with a 13 rating.

Why Is a MERV Value Essential?

You might be curious about the importance of such a value. Besides, air purifiers all perform the same function of cleaning the air. 

As mentioned earlier, the rating helps to tell how functional these devices are. You should worry about this rating if you have any of the following:

  • Constant allergies
  • Asthma
  • The disease of the lungs
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
  • Weak immune system
  • Bad smoking habit 

The more polluted the indoor space, the higher the air cleaner you should opt for. Despite this, you shouldn’t go for air cleaning devices that won’t be functional or one that could disrupt airflow. This is where the rating comes in.

Once you can tell the type of air purifier you need, the MERV rating can help you select one. 

What Can a MERV 13 Filter Out of the Air?

A MERV 13 can remove dust, pollen, and dander, just like basic air cleaners. However, these air purifiers go the extra mile to remove tinier and more harmful elements than their lower counterparts. These particles include bacteria and other compounds that could lead to respiratory problems. 

Types of Air Filters in a MERV-Rated Air Cleaner

HVAC filters come in different kinds of filters. These options vary in size and price. 

Many individuals prefer to settle for cheaper filters to save costs. While these options are functional, they might not be the right option for you. Instead, go for the device with the right filter.

Most air cleaning device accepts different types of filters. In other words, you can fit your machine with a better filter if there’s a need.

Popular filters suitable for HVAC systems are fiberglass, electrostatic, and pleated.

Fiberglass filters are the least effective at improving indoor air quality, but they’re the most affordable. Even though the cost per unit is minimal, they may end up costing you more in the long run.

Reusable electrostatic filters save money and help the environment at the same time. However, you have to wash them once monthly with mild soap. The environmental benefits are undeniable, but their inability to remove microscopic particles is a drawback.

Pleated filters are the best types of HVAC filters. With increased surface area, pleated filters are better at capturing airborne particles. 

A one-inch pleated filter is available in different sizes to match most HVAC systems. High-end systems may necessitate a pleated filter of four to six inches in diameter. These are also the best options for removing allergy-causing particles.

What are the Advantages of Using a MERV 13 Air Filter?

Using these devices comes with several explanations, which are detailed below:

Healthier Air

The primary reason for installing an air purifier in your home is to improve the air quality for you and your family. Air purifiers are very effective at eliminating several dangerous particles from the air. Some air purifiers trap these particles in their filters, while others use ionization or UV rays to function.

When the air in your home is healthy, you see an improvement in your body system. You’ll discover that you can sleep better and improve your mental health 

Less Accumulation of Dust on Surfaces

it’s frustrating to watch as the dust settles over surfaces just hours after cleaning. With the help of some air cleaners, most of these particles will pass through filters instead of settling on surfaces. 

As a result, dust accumulation will be less. These dust particles might not be removed entirely, but they’ll build up at a slower rate than when there’s no purifier.

Elimination of Odor

Some air cleaners remove airborne particles; thus, they’re also functional in regulating the smells in your space. For instance, some devices will help clean the air after preparing smelly foods. In the same vein, they’re also good at eliminating smoke odors and some harmful particles of the gases.

For these devices to be more functional, place them at points where they can quickly capture these smells. For instance, keep them close to the bathroom, refrigerator, or beside a waste bin.

Prolonged Lifespan of HVAC Systems

Your HVAC system includes your furnace, heat pump, air conditioners. Adding an air purifier to these systems will function better and last longer. This is because the cleaner catches pollutants that would have been trapped in some of these systems.

Control of Seasonal Allergy

If you suffer from seasonal allergies live with someone who does, you need to always be in an environment free of contaminants. This is because several particles in the air can cause allergies. Good examples of these particles include pollen, dust, and pet hair.

If you live in a high pollution rate environment, an air purifier is a wise investment. This device will help control these contaminants making the air cleaner and fresher for your health.

Low Maintenance

Air purifiers are not only efficient removers of airborne contaminants; they’re also easy to maintain. Most of these devices use electricity to function, so you only have to plug them into a powered outlet.

Most of these devices only require regular cleaning to keep them working. So you’ll only have to replace the filters once in six to twelve months.

What are the Disadvantages of Using MERV-Rated Air Purifier?

A MERV rating doesn’t guarantee that the device will function without faults. In contrast, several things could go wrong when using any of these MERV-rated devices. MERV 13 might not affect your furnace, but it might damage other aspects of your HVAC system.

Some of the potential dangers you should know are:

Reduced Airflow

Purifiers create resistance to your system’s airflow because it attempts to distribute a set amount of air to each of your rooms. If the air is not enough, the room might seem stuffed. It also leads to an increase in the humid air in the area. 

Condenser Coil Freezing

Another unforeseen consequence of this reduced airflow is an increase in refrigeration costs. Your AC unit has a hot coil outside, called the condenser, and a cold coil inside, the air handler. 

This cold coil has a specific operating temperature preference. This temperature depends on the amount of warm air passing across the coil. It’s also dependent on the amount of refrigerant flowing through the coil’s copper tubing. 

With a higher MERV filter restricting airflow, the coil can eventually freeze into an ice ball. 

Firebox Cracking

During the hot season, the furnace’s firebox may become too hot to the point of cracking open. The firebox is a metal cabinet or series of tubes containing the flame’s spent gases. This situation is rare because you won’t always turn on the furnace in hot seasons.

What is the Cost of a MERV-Rated Air Filter?

When you want to purchase an air cleaner, you notice that the prices vary based on their size. The higher the device, the more money you pay and vice versa. The same principle applies to filters with a rating.

Since you know that a filter with a higher rating functions better, you’ll have to pay more to purchase it. Aside from this, lower-rated devices don’t last as long as higher-rated devices. As a result, you’ll have to spend more on their maintenance. 

Pricing will also depend on the store where you purchase your device. Some stores tend to sell their products higher than others.