When it comes to air filtration, the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) is an important factor to consider. This rating system provides a way to compare the performance of different filters and helps you choose the right one for your needs. In this article, we'll explain what MERV ratings are, how they work, and why they're important. The MERV rating system was developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) in 1987. It's used to measure the effectiveness of an air filter in capturing particles between 0.3 and 10 microns (µm). The MERV rating is determined by six tests that measure the filter's ability to capture particles of different sizes.
The worst percentage of the six tests is selected as the official measure used to determine the MERV rating of a filter. In residential HVAC systems, filters with a MERV rating between 1 and 4 are most common. However, some homeowners may opt for filters with a MERV rating up to 8.It's important to note that using an air filter with a MERV rating higher than recommended by the manufacturer of your oven or air conditioner may impair its performance. When choosing an air filter, it's important to consider your particular needs. For example, if you have allergies or a family member with a serious respiratory problem, you may want to opt for a filter with a relatively high MERV rating. This will help prevent pollen, bacteria, and pet dander from circulating throughout your home. Pleated filters typically have a slightly larger initial pressure drop than other types of filters.
However, this isn't usually significant enough to cause any damage to your HVAC system as long as you change filters regularly. In summary, MERV stands for “minimum efficiency information value” and is a measure of how effectively a filter removes particles from the air passing through it. The higher the MERV rating, the greater the air filtration capabilities of a particular filter. Understanding how the MERV rating table works can help you choose air filters with the right ratings for your needs.