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Serving New Orleans and the Surrounding Areas
Available at your convenience, not ours

Serving New Orleans and the Surrounding Areas


Available at your convenience, not ours


Gowland's Heating & A/C Blog

How Strong an Air Filter Does My Home Need?


If you’re asking this question, it’s because you want cleaner and healthier air inside your home, and you know you have powerful options available. Although your HVAC system comes with an air filter, it isn’t designed to clean the air but protect the interior of the HVAC cabinet components. An actual air filtration system that provides cleaner air requires experts to integrate the filters into the ductwork. 

Filters come in different strengths, depending on how strong the weave is. The stronger the weave, the smaller the particles the filter can trap. And therein lies the tricky part: a filter can be so strong that it not only traps particles, it ends up blocking airflow. If you put in too powerful a set of filters, your HVAC system won’t be much good to you. In fact, the thick filter will lead to damaging it. 

You won’t need to worry, however, when you have our experts to assist you. We know how to find the right indoor air quality solutions for homes. 

Understanding Filter Strength

Filter strength is measured by a standardized rating called MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value). The higher the MERV number, the more powerful the filter and the smaller particles it can stop. MERV can go above 20, but it’s rare for any home to have a filter stronger than 16. Only industrial and healthcare facilities will use more powerful HEPA-rated filters.

MERV 1–4 filters are the simplest filters, usually simple panel filters, and aren’t usually effective for whole-home use. Instead, you find them in window ACs or portable air conditioning units. They can stop dust and lint, but not much else. 

Most homes will use a filter that falls in the MERV 5–12 zone. If your house is primarily dealing with dust, lint, dander, dust mites, and generally dusty air, MERV 5–8 filters are probably a good match. The higher strength filters can affect some gases, odor molecules, and chemicals—these are recommended in households where there are people with asthma and allergies. 

MERV 13–16 are strong enough to affect some viruses and bacteria, but many residential HVAC systems won’t be able to work with them. 

Our experts will find the right strength of filter to clean your air without causing obstruction to airflow.

What If I Need a Stronger Filter?

This is a good question. If there are contaminants in your air that will still slip through the strongest filter your HVAC system can manage, you do have an excellent option: an air purification system. We often install an air purifier in Slidell, LA to pair with an air filtration system. This combo of physical filtration and electronic air cleaning can eliminate more than 98% of contaminants moving through your home’s air. 

There are many different types of air purification systems (for example, UV air purifiers that target organic pollutants), but you can trust our skilled team to find the ideal match of filter and purifier for your needs. 

Gowland’s Heating & A/C Values “Relationship over Revenue!” Schedule service today for air filters and air purifiers. 

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