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  1. #1

    Merv 11 vs. Merv 16 Filter Box

    I just had a new system installed. The contract included a Merv 16 whole house air filter. He installed an Ultravation progressive Media Merv 11 filter box and filter. He said he couldn't find a Merv 16 locally and told me to buy a filter and he'd deduct it from the total invoice. After doing some reading it appears that Ultravation doesn't make a Merv 16 and it doesn't seem like the filter box is universal; at least from what I've read on the internet. We have family members with allergies but nobody smokes in the house or anything like that. So my question is: Should I make him replace the whole filter box with something that can take a Merv 16 filter or should I just leave the Merv 11 Ultravation? In other words, beyond principle that it should have been a merv 16, does the Ultravation have any "pros" that make it worth keeping over a 16 cabinet and filter?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    Merv 11 should be plenty for most all allergens (typically jsut dust, pollen and mold spores). Keep in mind, the primary function of a filter to to keep dust from accumulating over hte fins on the indoor coil and heat exchanger and and to prevent recirculating airborn dust as much as reasonably possible. With this in mind, it's mot a dust collector and won't more nearly enough air to act as a primary filtration system. For example, the airflow and air exchange rate at a hospital or pharmaceutical manufacturing facility can be 10 air changes per hour or more. A properly sized residential system running on low continuous fan will probaly be around 2-3 ACH.

    The best weapon against dust in a home is a good quality vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter used at minimum once a week, more often if needed. More often with higher occupancy or if you have carpet. Don't forget, the majority of dust is mainly lint, dead skin cells, hair and fine soil/dirt from outdoors.

    Some standard 20x25x5" media filter like a Trion Air Bear have a MERV 13 Option. I typically use that in my home. I have 2 systems that are 2 tons each so that filter can last nearly a year in my set-up. They are very inexpensive filter housings and filter are pretty rasonably prices and most supply houses stock a generic version locally. They also have a pretty slick right angle verson too for retrofit installations where you have limited width bewteen the return and the furnace.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Northern VA 38 degrees N by 76 degrees W
    Posts
    5,062
    Quote Originally Posted by wahoo67 View Post
    I just had a new system installed. The contract included a Merv 16 whole house air filter. He installed an Ultravation progressive Media Merv 11 filter box and filter. He said he couldn't find a Merv 16 locally and told me to buy a filter and he'd deduct it from the total invoice. After doing some reading it appears that Ultravation doesn't make a Merv 16 and it doesn't seem like the filter box is universal; at least from what I've read on the internet. We have family members with allergies but nobody smokes in the house or anything like that. So my question is: Should I make him replace the whole filter box with something that can take a Merv 16 filter or should I just leave the Merv 11 Ultravation? In other words, beyond principle that it should have been a merv 16, does the Ultravation have any "pros" that make it worth keeping over a 16 cabinet and filter?
    He actually "inadvertently" did you a favor. A merv 16 at 1200 cfm has a pressure drop of .36 new and clean. Over 90% of all systems duct work is not sized to handle the pressure drop of a high merv filter without conversion leaving you with lower efficiency equipment and probable equipment failure.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Greenwood Indiana (Indianapolis)
    Posts
    420
    merv 16 is a Lennox filter and can only be purchased at a lennox dealer. It can absorb bacteria and virus. Its a nice filter. Not sure what an Ultravation progressive Media filter is? Lennox also make a Pureair filter system that has the merv 16 cartridge and Ultra violet B bulbs and a catalyst. IMO its the best filtration system out there. Others may differ though.
    As iron sharpens iron so one man sharpens another Proverbs 27:17 NIV84

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