The science of air quality is fascinating, especially when you realize that we learn more about our environment as new equipment and technology is developed.
Imagine how early chemists and biologists felt when using rudimentary microscopes for the first time! Just being able to see what was once invisible to the naked eye would have been life changing, especially with an ancient worldview that doesn’t necessarily account for these microorganisms.
Going through these paradigm shifts was painful for many scientists, because nowadays you’re not dealing with the church questioning your findings, but your own colleagues. Existing scientific theories can create dogmas within the minds of researchers and it takes sufficient momentum to dislodge those worldviews into accepting new data and empirical facts. Some people were reluctant to accept the performance variance in different kinds of face masks during the pandemic, but there is solid science backing up these companies’ claims. The same can be said for air filters with different MERV ratings. My old roommate would insist that one of those flimsy MERV 3 filters that barely collect dust was good enough for our shared apartment. These days I use a MERV 14 filter because of my severe allergy problems. The MERV rating tells you how strong the filter is and what kind of particles it can collect. Ideally, you want a filter with the highest MERV rating that you can afford without the filter being too restrictive of general air flow. However, HVAC filters are so advanced these days that my MERV 14 filters for instance are fully capable of retaining healthy air flow while they’re in use.