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Which Furnace Filter Should I Choose with Indoor Pets?

May 8, 2019

 cat being brushed throwing dander into indoor air

Having pets in our lives is a wonderful thing. But having them in our homes means cleaning up after them -and sometimes that can feel like a never-ending battle, can’t it?! All that pet dander might seem like it’s impossible to get rid of, not to mention the effect it has on the indoor air quality in our homes.

You can breathe easy, however! That’s where your furnace filters come in. Their purpose is to prevent dust, pet dander, pet hair, and other small contaminant particles from recirculating in the air, keeping them intact and thereby protecting your blower fan – and helping you breathe cleaner air. But how can you choose the right furnace filter for your HVAC unit?

Our Friend MERV

furnace filter

There are many different types and sizes of furnace filters to consider. To determine which is right for you, first we need to account for the HVAC unit’s system specifications in your home.

The answer lies in the MERV rating. Here’s what it is, and how it can help you make the right choice.

MERV Ratings to Consider for a Pet-Friendly Furnace Filter

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The higher the MERV rating a furnace filter has, the more efficient it is in filtering out dust, pet dander, pet hair, and other airborne contaminant particles.

The higher the rating, the smaller the particles that a furnace filter can effectively draw in. Higher MERV ratings also mean higher prices.

MERV ratings range from 1 to 16. As the rating goes up, a furnace filter needs to work harder to remove all the airborne particles, which is why system specifications are very important to consider. You need to choose a filter that your HVAC unit can accommodate without malfunctioning.

The best MERV ratings to choose from when you have indoor pets are between MERV 8 and MERV 11.

MERV 8 Furnace Filters

dog shaking off dander intro air in house

MERV 8 furnace filters can capture microns ranging from 3.0 PM to 10 PM (particulate matter). This means that they can remove up to 85% of bigger particles, and up to 50% of smaller ones. This is the standard rating for residential homes.

MERV 11 Furnace Filters

MERV 11 furnace filters can capture even smaller microns – from 3.0 PM to 1.0 PM. They can capture more than 90% of bigger particles, and between 70-90% of smaller particles. They effectively capture everything that MERV 8 furnace filters can, with the addition of smoke and pet dander.

These filters may be a better choice when you have indoor pets, especially if you, or anyone from your family, are prone to allergies.

Whichever furnace filter you choose, make sure you inspect and change it regularly. How often you should change your furnace filter depends on the type you’ll choose, and the number of airborne contaminant particles in your home. Be sure to inspect it often, and maintain it properly, so that you can extend its life and prevent potential health hazards.

Let Modern PURAIR Help with Furnace Filter Selection & Overall Indoor Air Quality

air filters for furnaceModern PURAIR® is here to offer a helping hand. Our specialized technicians can clean your furnace filter using our exclusive PURAIR® cleaning systems, helping you breathe much cleaner air and improving your health. We include filter selection as part of our service, ensuring you get the right filter for your needs and that you breathe the best indoor air possible.

Contact us today to schedule your next appointment. At Modern PURAIR® it’s our pleasure to help you breathe easier.


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