Does the MERV Rating on My Furnace Filter REALLY Matter?
Proper air filtration is essential for breathing cleaner indoor air. Mechanical filters are the most common types of filters used in HVAC systems. They are also highly efficient and require minimal maintenance.
The most important aspect of these filters is the mechanical efficiency rating value (MERV). Although it’s a great to change your filter on a regular basis, it’s equally important to check the MERV rating on the mechanical air filter you purchase. Here are more details about the MERV ratings.
What is a MERV rating?
MERV ratings are a scale based on a rigorous testing procedure developed by an organization called ASHRAE. The scale was intended to measure the performance and efficacy of mechanical air filters. MERV ratings range from 1-16, with 16 being the highest rating. The higher ratings indicate the filter’s capacity to capture the particles in the air. The human body has a built-in MERV rating of 8. Any rating above that is helpful to the human body.
A breakdown of the MERV ratings
- Ratings between 1-4: Filters labelled with these ratings are usually the least expensive and also the least effective. These filters are disposable and can capture pollen, dust mites, cockroach debris, sanding dust, spray paint dust, textile fibers, and carpet fibers.
These filters may help your home comfort system, but they do not help you.
- Ratings between 5-8: These filters are pleated and offer greater performance in capturing smaller particles such as mold, spores, dust mite debris, cat and dog dander, and hair spray. Helpful to your system, but not to you.
- Ratings between 9-12: Filters that are labelled with these ratings are also pleated and produce even greater results in improving indoor air quality. Allergy sufferers will greatly benefit from the decreased exposure to pollens and other allergens.
- Ratings between 13-16: Filters that are labelled with these ratings provide excellent indoor air quality and capture up to 95% of the particles and pollutants in the air. Although these air filters cost more than other air filters, they are highly effective.
Less particles leads to cleaner air and higher HVAC efficiency. In the long run, you’ll also save money and energy knowing that your air filter is performing at its maximum capacity.
We can’t always be sure if the air filters in our HVAC systems are running properly. That’s why it’s helpful to invest in the right products and services that will keep you and your family healthy and safe all year round! If you have any questions or you would like to learn more about our mechanical air filters, feel free to contact a member of our team today! We’ll help you to find the right products for your filtration needs!