What is the MERV Rating on Air Filters?

The Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) rating for an air filter is a measure of how effectively it prevents dust and other contaminants from passing through the filter into the air stream. A higher MERV rating means that the filter can trap smaller air particles more efficiently than filters with lower ratings. FPR, or filter performance rating, labels filters based on a numerical scale of 4 to 10, in addition to a color coding system. This rating structure is very similar to the MERV rating.

Newer units should not have airflow problems with higher MERV ratings, although older models can work better with a MERV 13 filter installed than when they originally had a MERV 6 filter in the air intake. MERV stands for “minimum efficiency information value” and the MERV rating is a measure of how effectively a filter removes particles from the air passing through it. The worst percentage of the six tests is selected as the official measure used to determine the MERV rating of a filter. Filters with a MERV rating of 8 to 13 are usually high-end filters for domestic use or high-quality commercial filters.

MERV ratings greater than 16 are commonly used in specialized commercial environments where air filtration is essential, such as hospitals. MPR ratings only rate a filter based on its ability to remove 0.3 to 1 micron particles, while MERV ratings reflect a filter's ability to trap microscopic and macroscopic particles. Remember that there are always other solutions available to improve indoor air quality if your system can't handle the MERV ratings you need. Pleated filters that are MERV 8 to 13, unlike fiberglass, can effectively filter small particles and decrease pressure drop.

Since higher speed filters allow less air to flow through the oven, it's a good idea to check if your system has a maximum MERV rating. Below is a table that can help you determine the recommended MERV rating for a variety of applications. For example, if you have someone in your household who suffers from allergies, you may want a higher MERV rating. Before buying a new oven filter, be sure to check if your HVAC system has a maximum MERV rating.

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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