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HEPA Or MERV: Which Filter Is Best?

December 29, 2022 | Blog

Determining which filter is best for your heating and cooling system can be difficult! With all the available options, many homeowners are left scratching their heads at the different possibilities. Luckily, at KCA Services in Boerne, Texas, we understand that the world of HVAC is new to many people and are here to point you in the right direction.

The best choice you can make between HEPA or MERV filters is HEPA. While MERV has a one-size-fits-all approach that appeals to many people, HEPA has different quality assurances and certifications that guarantee success. Whether you’re worried about your air quality, what your filter is catching or the maintenance cost, HEPA beats MERV for IAQ solutions!

HVAC Maintenance And Filter Price

One of the biggest factors in choosing a filter is the price. While the initial cost is certainly considered, many other factors can make a filter much more expensive. Maintenance, replacement time and effectiveness should all be considered before choosing a filter.


Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values, or MERV, filters may have a lower upfront cost but have a much more expensive overall cost. MERV 8 needs to be replaced every 3-4 months, MERV 10 to 11 require replacement every 6 months and the newest model requires replacement every year. While this may not seem like a short amount of time, replacement is often costly and any clogging will tank your system’s performance.

The maintenance cost of the MERV is also much higher because it is not strong against buildup. Any form of clogging or buildup will need immediate intervention. If it is left to accumulate, the filter will have to be replaced faster.


High efficiency particulate air, or HEPA filters, on average, are replaced every 3 to 4 years. While it has a slightly higher replacement price than MERV, its changing frequency makes it much cheaper in the long run. This and the fact that HEPA is washable saves you money on replacements.

They also require a lot less maintenance. If you’re wondering whether it is time to change your filter, look at your efficiency. If it is below 90%, it is time to change!

Indoor Air Quality And Performance


One of the reasons MERV is so well acclaimed for its performance is that it categorizes its filters differently. MERV 8 to 12 are best indoors and can filter out the smallest contaminants. However, the performance of MERV varies greatly. To block out allergens, you have to invest in a MERV 11, which is more costly.

These filters can also be extraordinarily restrictive to your HVAC system, meaning it blocks airflow. In this instance, choosing a higher performance means choosing less airflow into your house. This tradeoff is a choice thatfew are willing to make! Less airflow throughout your house means you have less choice over your temperature, which can be pesky in extreme weather.


HEPA is currently the highest rated in terms of efficiency. This means you don’t have to sacrifice the quality of your air for the supply of your air! HEPA filters take tiny contaminants down to 0.3 micrometers, or smaller depending on the model. This improves your air quality while keeping a steady airstream so that you have control of your temperature. Without extra charges, it also takes down allergens! These include pet dander, allergens and other impurities that can trigger asthma.

Call Today For Air Purification Solutions!

At KCA Services in Boerne, Texas, we want to make finding the right HVAC filter a snap! We offer services such as heating and AC, with amazing deals! We have plenty of financing options so everybody can get the HVAC they need. Call today for a consultation on how to get your air quality back to pristine.

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