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Busting dust in a basement shop

What the heck are HEPA and MERV?

What the heck are HEPA and MERV?

You can find aftermarket high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters for shop vacuums at home centers and online. These filters remove 99.97 percent of particles down to .3 microns. Avoid filters labeled "HEPA-type" or "HEPA-style" -- these do not provide the same level of filtration.

The MERV (minimum-efficiency reporting value) system measures the efficiency of filters installed in the ductwork of heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems. Filters with higher MERV ratings capture smaller particles than those with lower MERV ratings. Filters up to MERV 12 are typically used in residential applications, right.

3M uses a proprietary microparticle performance rating (MPR) system for its Filtrete-brand filters. The MPR numbers translate approximately as MPR 600=MERV 8; MPR 1000=MERV 11; MPR 1500=MERV 12, MPR 1900=MERV 13.

If living spaces become dusty quickly or if shop sessions aggravate someone's allergies, switching to a filter with a higher MERV rating may help. But have a professional evaluate your HVAC system first because a high-efficiency filter may reduce airflow and strain the blower motor.

Continued on page 4:  Seal the exits


Comments (2)
3-j wrote:

.3 is fraction of one micron, thus, it is correctly stated/written .3 micron, not microns.

3/20/2014 06:38:24 PM Report Abuse
Kerfer wrote:

There are risks with using an air gun to remove dust from yourself, possibly blowing something into your skin, or worse into your eye, potentially with some force. Use a vacuum instead.

12/16/2013 08:19:39 PM Report Abuse

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