What is the MERV Rating on a Filter?

Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) is a rating system designed by ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers) to measure the effectiveness of air filters. The higher the number, the better the filter is at capturing larger particles between 0.3 and 10 microns (µm). Although your HVAC system may not handle a larger number, it is important to understand that not all filters are created equal. In reality, HVAC experts often claim that there is generally little noticeable difference once the MERV rating is higher than seven.

Air filters with MERV ratings higher than 13 also tend to restrict airflow because they have smaller pores to capture smaller particles. If you're not sure what type of filter and which MERV ratings are best for your home, call Phyxter Home Services. MERV 17 to MERV 20 filters are commonly used in operating rooms, cleanrooms, and other settings that require absolute cleanliness. Pleated filters that are MERV 8 to 13 can effectively filter small particles and decrease pressure drop.

Using an air filter with a MERV rating higher than recommended by the manufacturer of your oven or air conditioner may impair its performance. MERV 13 air filters are very effective at removing a wider range of particles, such as smoke, bacteria and even some viruses. MERV 11 pleated filters are also made with synthetic media and live up to Merv 8, without a significant price increase. Oven and air filters above MERV 13 are typically found in a hospital environment, where air sanitation is of the utmost importance.

It is important to note that no one in this family suffers from a respiratory condition that justifies buying a filter with a higher MERV rating, but every time they have guests, more dirt, dust, and other contaminants enter this house.

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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