In some parts of the world, people are no longer required to wear masks when shopping, attending religious services, or going to school. Relaxed social distancing means more people are visiting friends and traveling. We may be learning to adapt to COVID-19, but that doesn’t mean people are no longer at risk of getting sick from it. Without proper ventilation and the best air filters, the virus could impact your health even when you’re at home. What can you do? Read on to explore the benefits of MERV-13 filters in the fight against COVID-19.
How the COVID-19 Virus Spreads in Your Home
Research shows that COVID-19 isn’t spread through surface contact as readily as it’s spread through the air despite the frenzy of people hoarding bleach, disinfectant wipes, and hand sanitizers. It’s why masks may still be the best defense against the virus.
That doesn’t mean you should slow down your diligence in keeping germs at bay by regular sanitizing countertops and other surfaces in your home. Even if there’d never been a global health crisis, cleanliness is still the right idea to avoid all types of illnesses.
Since COVID-19 spreads primarily in airborne droplets, other than keeping family members isolated from each other, what else can people do to prevent spreading the virus?
Look no further than your heating and cooling system.
Your HVAC System Can Protect You from Viruses
You’re concerned about germs circulating throughout your home—not only during a global pandemic—but also during cold and flu season. It’s a natural worry, and sometimes it isn’t easy to know exactly what to do.
Preventing the spread of a virus goes beyond cleanliness practices. You can help minimize the risk of people in your home getting sick by taking care of your HVAC system.
If you’re diligent about HVAC maintenance, you’ll help your heating and cooling system protect you. A well-maintained HVAC system doesn’t provide an environment where germs can thrive.
It’s as simple as changing your furnace filter.
Furnace filters are supposed to trap dust mites, pollen, mold spores, and bacteria. And they usually do the job well when people change them as needed. There are two problems:
- Failure to change the filter as needed
- Using the wrong type of filter
Generally, you should change your HVAC filter at least every few months. If you have pets, allergies, respiratory conditions, such as asthma, or someone smokes in your home, you’ll likely need to change the filter more often.
Does it matter what filter you buy? As you’ll see next, yes, it matters.
Best HVAC Filters for COVID-19 Prevention
Whether using a furnace or a heat pump, your HVAC system uses a filter. This article won’t help you with your COVID-19 concerns if you have a boiler.
Just because all HVAC systems use filters doesn’t mean all filters are alike.
Some filters trap large dust particles and debris but allow fine particles, including pet dander, mold, and bacteria, to circulate in the air inside your home. Your furnace filter’s ability to protect you from illness depends on its Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values (MERV).
Unless you’ve upgraded your furnace or AC filter recently, you probably have a MERV-8 filter installed. It’s the default that most HVAC contractors install when they take care of your regular maintenance.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), if you want to protect your household from COVID-19, you’ll want a filter that’s rated MERV-13 or higher.
What Is So Special About a MERV-13 Rating?
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. It’s a numbering system developed by the American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).
The MERV number on a furnace or AC filter lets consumers know how effective the filter is at removing particles from your indoor air. The higher the MERV value, the better it works to filter out harmful particles.
Every AC filter online or purchased from a retail store has a MERV value printed on the outside.
As noted earlier, you’ll want to make sure that when you replace your HVAC filter, you look for MERV-13 residential air filters. It’s one of the best ways to protect the people in your home from COVID-19.
MERV-13 Commercial Air Filters are also available for large office spaces and other business establishments.
Are HEPA filters MERV-13?
One thing that confuses many people is determining which filter they need to prevent people in their homes from experiencing health problems. You can relate if you’ve ever stood in the furnace filter aisle and felt lost.
One filter that often confuses people is the HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) filter.
There’s a significant difference between MERV-13 and HEPA filters.
MERV 13 filters trap roughly 73% of particles. HEPA filters trap 99.3%.
That’s impressive, but don’t rush to buy a HEPA filter. Most residential HVAC systems can only handle MERV 13 through 20 filters.
HEPA filters are usually only found in hospital-grade air purifiers.
Have You Heard of a Nanotechnology AC Filter?
Another type of air filter used in residential and commercial air purification systems is one based on nanotechnology.
In a nutshell, nanofibers capture the tiniest particles—particles so small that they escape the average HVAC filter. Even the filters with higher MERV ratings can’t prevent all particles from circulating in your indoor air.
For example, when clean, a nanotechnology AC filter can capture dust and other harmful particles, including those that cause COVID-19, much better than filters with a fine fiber layer.
Nanofiber filters last longer than other conventional filters. They have a fine fiber layer not found in conventional filters. Instead of becoming loaded with debris, the nanofiber filter traps harmful particles on its surface.
Need Help Finding the Best Air Filter for Your Home or Business?
Even though many states and countries have lifted restrictions, protecting homes and businesses from COVID-19 is still important.
A MERV-13 air filter in a residential HVAC system can help minimize your exposure to airborne illnesses.
Nanoair specializes in helping customers purchase the best air filter to protect them from COVID-19 and other harmful particles found in indoor air.
Shop for your air filters today and protect the people in your care.