What is the Best MERV Rating for Air Filters?

When it comes to air filters, selecting the right one for your home can be a daunting task. But with the right information, you can make an informed decision that will ensure your home is comfortable and your HVAC system is running efficiently. The MERV rating system is designed to help you understand the effectiveness of an air filter so you can choose the right one for your particular needs. The MERV rating stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and is a rating system designed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

It measures the effectiveness of a filter in trapping particles between 0.3 and 1 microns in size. The worst percentage of the six tests is selected as the official measure used to determine the MERV rating of a filter. In general, air filters with higher MERV ratings remove a higher percentage of contaminants in the air and, therefore, improve the indoor air quality of your home. But before you update the filter, make sure it's specific.

A MERV rating of between 6 and 13 generally meets the needs of most residences. This range offers a good balance between air filtration, airflow and affordability. If you select an air filter with a MERV 13 rating, it can last up to six months before you need to replace it. In general, filters with higher MERV ratings are more effective and improve air quality, but they are also more expensive. Plus, taller doesn't always mean better for homeowners.

MERV ratings greater than 16 are commonly used in specialized commercial environments where air filtration is essential, such as hospitals. Our recommended MERV rating for oven filters ranges from 6 to 8 to strike a great balance between maximum oven efficiency and home comfort. Filters with higher MERV ratings should be changed more frequently (at least every three months) to avoid restricted airflow that can cause the system to operate inefficiently or even damage it. You can also view the Microparticle Performance Rating (MPR) system, which ranges from 300 to 2200 and measures the effectiveness of a filter in trapping only the smallest particles on the MERV scale (0.3-1 microns in size).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). When buying oven air filters, don't confuse MERV with other rating systems that may appear on packaging (especially in large home improvement stores).

Lucille Boughman
Lucille Boughman

Incurable internet advocate. Extreme food practitioner. Friendly internet advocate. Subtly charming social mediaholic. Avid music trailblazer. Amateur web specialist.

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