Is your air filter actually filtering out particles? Is it filtering out all particles? When pollutants are tiny or even microscopic, it can be hard to tell without standard measurements. Luckily, MERV ratings can help.
What Is a MERV Rating?
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values and measures how well a filter removes certain-sized particles from the air. Keep reading to learn more about the MERV rating and how it impacts your home heating and air conditioning system.
What Do the Different MERV Ratings Mean?
The MERV rating was established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers. With ratings ranging from 1 to 16, the different levels of filter will remove different types and amounts of particles. This is important for both the protection of your HVAC equipment and your home’s indoor air quality.
What MERV Rating Should I Use?
With all the options available, you may wonder which size you need. Do you need the highest? Will the lowest even do anything? For most homes, there’s actually a healthy middle that will give you enough protection while also providing adequate airflow.
Do I Need a MERV 16 Filter?
The reason most homes don’t need a 16 MERV filter is that it actually reduces airflow and can cause problems with your system. The higher the filtration, the more airflow is restricted, which could also cause your system to run longer and wear down faster.
Read the filter’s manufacturer instructions to see how the rating applies to the particles prevalent in your area. Special consideration should be made if anyone in your home has allergies or you live with a pet. Make sure to look for the MERV rating on a filter, as some manufacturers and distributors will rate their filters on a different scale.