Furnace Air Filters - Merv Ratings

I have a 3 yr old heat pump furnace / air conditioner unit in a home I recently moved into. Just had the furnace serviced to assure all was OK, and it is. I have allergies, and asthma, and am allergic to mold and dust.
There is currently an inexpensive (fiberglass) air filter in the unit, and I want to put in a more expensive, higher Merv rating filter (rating ). This is due to my allergies. Service man cautions me not to do it, since he indicates that it will put alot more strain on the unit, especially during heating season. He says the effect will be to greatly reduce the life of the unit.
What do you guys think about his cautions? If it is bad, why do places like Home Depot sell so many higher rated air filters, like the one I am considering using?
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Check out WW Grainger online.
I have similar problems and use a couple of Ionic Breezes as well. Grainger puts their filters on sale a couple of times a year. I get 12 at about 5 bucks a piece. I use Merv 12's on my home. I am using the highest Merv and combined with the lowest back pressure. I change them every other month or when the stat says to. My brother used to use the fiberglass ones with some kind of spray on them. They noticed an difference in their home with in a week (no ionic breeze). You will need a tax license to buy from WW.
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SQLit wrote:

I hope people dont think the Ionic Breeze is going to clean the air in a whole room let alone the whole house. Go feel the amount of air moving through it and then ask yourself: "If i had a fan/filter combo with this kind of airflow would it clean the room?" Just my 2 cents Eric
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If you say you use Merv 12 filters, have you been told that it restricts the air flow, thereby making the furnace work harder, and thereby reducing its life.
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