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UV air cleaners and efficient air filters

UV air cleaners and efficient air filters
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Question: I have a UV air cleaner in my home.  What MERV rating air filter do I need to use?  Would it be beneficial to use a MERV 11 filter or would a MERV 8 work?  I change my filter every month when it’s running but I will go for 3 months.  I have changed the filter at different times and it seemed (by the naked eye) clean.  Should I let it go longer or still go on the same maintenance cycles?

A UV air cleaner doesn’t eliminate the need for efficient air conditioner filters.  The UV air cleaner will help to kill mold spores, bacteria and viruses but they don’t actually filter the air, they only purify it.  You still require an efficient air filter to remove dust particles from the air.

A MERV 8 filter is adequate for most homes unless you want to maintain the best air quality possible.  A MERV 11 filter is very efficient and will do a good job.

How often should you change your filter

It is best to follow manufacturer recommendations for filter change frequency.  They know their products and can better guide you in this area.

Personally, I think changing furnace filters and air conditioner filters every month is more often than necessary.  I usually change filters every 3 months in commercial buildings.  If every 3 months is good enough for these applications, where there is more dust, then it should be fine for residential applications.

One thing to consider is that filters used in commercial applications usually aren’t as efficient as the ones used in residential applications so they don’t become dirty as quickly.

If you can tell by looking at your furnace filter or air conditioner filter that it is not getting dirty then it probably doesn’t need to be changed for a while.


About the author: Don has been working in the HVAC industry for more than 25 years and shares his experience and knowledge on this site. If you find the information presented here helpful please share with your friends.

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