MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Rating Value and is an industry standard that measures the overall effectiveness of air filters. It is a standardized system created by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and used by all manufacturers of air filters. Rating values range from 1 (lowest efficiency) to 20 (highest efficiency).E1, E2, and E3 particles are particle range sizes used in air filter tests to determine a MERV rating. As the MERV rating increases, the finer the filtration becomes.
With finer filtration, less airborne contaminants are allowed to pass & dust particles through the filter. The most common airborne contaminants these filters are tested against tend to include pollen, dust mites, mold spores, dust, pet dander, bacteria, and tobacco smoke. Not all filters are created equal. The higher the number, the better the filter. Although your HVAC system may not handle a larger number.
Generally speaking, anything under a MERV 13 air filter should provide very efficient air purification in a home without affecting airflow. MERV 8 air filters can filter a large percentage of fine particles, but a MERV 11 air filter can do even better. MERV 11 air filters can capture particles as small as 0.3 microns in size, while MERV 8 air filters can only capture particles as small as 3 microns in size. This means that MERV 11 air filters are more effective at trapping dust, pollen, mold spores, pet dander, and other airborne contaminants. When removing the old filter, be sure to pay attention to the direction in which the arrows on the filter point to know which direction the air cleaner goes in. This comparison table helps highlight the differences between the MERV 8 and MERV 11 filters to make it easier to decide which one works best. Choosing the right MERV rating is an important decision in terms of total cost, air quality, and product durability.
Pleated filters that are MERV 8 to 13, unlike fiberglass, can effectively filter small particles and decrease pressure drop (this is the closest thing to MerVana you can find). All air filters require regular cleaning and filter replacement to function properly. Follow manufacturer's recommendations for maintenance and replacement. In particular, using an air cleaner with a MERV rating that is too high can damage the compressor, heat exchanger, and air conditioner coil. Generally speaking, anything under a MERV 13 air filter should provide very efficient air purification in a home without affecting airflow. MERV filters 16 to 20 are generally only found in hospitals, cleanrooms, and nuclear power plants.
Well, MERV ratings range from 1 to 20, with 1 being the lowest level of filtration and 20 being the highest.