What is a MERV rating?
MERV ratings were established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) in order to aid consumers understanding of what type of air filter will best fit their home’s needs.
MERV is the worldwide standard rating system for air filter quality. The MERV, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, tells the consumer how effectively a filter can catch household contaminants such as dust, pollen, and pet dander. The higher the MERV rating (anywhere from 1 to 16), the more and smaller particles are filtered from the air.
MERV Ratings. Typical Applications
|1-4||Residential Window Units|
|5-8||Better residential, commercial & industrial|
|9-12||Superior residential, better commercial, hospital labs|
|13-16||Hospital, general surgery|
It is important to keep in mind that MERV indicates the minimum ability of a filter to catch airborne particles. Over time, a filter begins to fill with dust and dander, therefore increasing its ability to stop contaminants from passing through. However, the higher the MERV, and the more a filter has already caught, the harder it becomes for your system to draw in air. A high MERV rating may seem like a good idea to a homeowner who wants to ensure they are breathing fresh air, but it is important to make sure that your HVAC system is capable of handling the restrictive properties of a high MERV filter. Home air filters with higher MERV ratings also need to be changed at a higher frequency due to their higher efficiency and particle-catching abilities. Simply put, they catch more contaminates over a shorter period of time.
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What Filter should I use?
Furnace air filters come in all different types, here are some tips in selecting the correct filter four your needs.
These filter types remove basic household dust and pollen
These filters are a must for pet owners and those looking for an additional level of filtration (not for allergy sufferers)
Use MERV 13 filters if you exhibit allergy or asthma symptoms
Removes small particles, including smoke