September 10, 2019
At Awair, we believe that knowledge is power. By providing users with direct insight into their air quality, we aim to empower people to create healthier homes, workplaces, and beyond. In addition to building smart and intuitive air quality monitors, we’re always looking for ways to make air quality data more actionable.
Many people are shocked to learn that their indoor air is more polluted than the outdoor air of metropolitan cities. That’s due to the fact that common building materials, household products, and indoor activities emit harmful pollutants into our air. To make matters worse, most modern buildings lack adequate ventilation, so indoor pollution can quickly climb to unhealthy levels.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned from our years of research, it’s that improving indoor air quality requires being mindful of your habits and product choices. And when it comes to your HVAC filters, quality matters.
Although replacing your HVAC filters may not be at the top of your to-do list, this small home improvement can have a significant impact on your indoor air quality.
Not all filters are created equally. Low-quality filters aren’t designed to trap fine particulate matter — the largely invisible air pollution that poses the greatest health risk. Although your air may not look dirty, pollutants such as PM2.5, bacteria, viruses, dust, lint, pollen and pet dander can linger in the air, aggravate allergies and asthma, and even increase your likelihood of developing health complications down the road.
The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) scale is the industry standard for measuring how well a residential heating or cooling system filter captures particles. The higher the MERV rating, the more microscopic particles are captured as air passes through the filter.
Many homes use filters with a MERV rating of 1 to 4, which filter out large particles (such as dust, lint and pollen), but do very little to trap small microparticles.
MERV 1 - 4Low EfficiencyFiberglass and aluminum mesh washable filters< 20%MERV 5 - 8Medium EfficiencyLow-grade disposable filters< 20%MERV 9 - 12High EfficiencyBox filters50 - 90 %MERV 13 - 16Highest EfficiencySuperior commercial-grade filters90 - 95 %
Scientists at 3M believe that MERV only tells part of the story. It’s why they created a different measurement — Microparticle Performance Rating (MPR). This rating focuses on microscopic particles that are not measured on the MERV scale until a filter meets a MERV 11 rating.
Filtrete™ Healthy Living Air Filters have a MPR ratings ranging from 1500 to 2800 (equivalent to MERV 12 to 14), which places them in the highest performance class for residential filters. An MPR rating of 1500 means that they’re able to trap microscopic particles that are invisible to the eye, such as bacteria, viruses, smoke, and sneeze debris. Filters with an MPR rating between 1900 and 2800 are also capable of capturing PM2.5 and smaller.
In addition to trapping more fine particulate matter, Filtrete™ Brand’s exclusive 3-in-1 technology from 3M is able to achieve higher filter performance while allowing sufficient airflow — which means less wear and tear on your HVAC system and less wasted energy.
Awair 2nd Edition tracks fine particulate matter (PM2.5), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon dioxide (CO2), temperature, and humidity levels in your air. In addition to helping you identify your indoor allergy triggers, Awair can help you understand how your filters, humidifiers, air purifiers, and other home solutions are impacting your air quality. As the summer heat and wildfire season take a toll on outdoor air quality, Awair and Filtrete™ Brand can help you keep indoor PM2.5, smoke, and allergens in check.
We’re excited to announce an exclusive Awair 2nd Edition and Filtrete™ Healthy Living Filters Amazon bundle! Learn more about this deal by following the link below.
There’s an endless checklist to keep track of when you’re looking into renovating your home, and whether you’re contracting the remodeling or jumping in with a DIY project, the whole process can quickly get overwhelming. In the midst of choosing colors, measurements, and finishes, it can be easy to forget to stop and ask yourself: are all these changes helping or harming my health?
Since indoor air quality (IAQ) is closely tied to productivity, we are bringing you five ways to improve your home environment.