MERV Ratings and Air Filters – Why Some Filters are More Efficient Than Others

Furnace Filters

MERV Ratings and Air Filters – Why Some Filters are More Efficient Than Others

To be honest, most home and business owners have never heard of MERV ratings, and certainly have no idea what it means. However, most people DO know that air filters on HVAC systems should be changed regularly for optimum indoor air quality and energy savings. What are MERV ratings, and what do they mean as far as choosing air filters for your heating/cooling system?

MERV, or Minimum Efficiency Rating Value, is simply a rating system whereby consumers can compare filters offered by various manufacturers to determine which are most effective and efficient at trapping even the tiniest particles. This rating is determined numerically, with 1 being the lowest efficiency and 20 being the highest. So, why should you care about MERV ratings when selecting an air filter for your home or business?

  • High efficiency means cleaner, more breathable air. While an air filter with a MERV value or rating of 3 or 4 will trap particles including carpet fibers, dust mites and pollen, a filter with higher value such as an 8 will trap mold spores, cement dust and even hair spray in addition to the particles less efficient filters trap. Generally speaking, ratings of 13 or higher are typically used in hospital, electronic and pharmaceutical settings. A MERV rating of 12 is recommended for superior air quality in residential applications.
  • MERV ratings of 7 to 13 are usually found in medium efficiency air filters, and are nearly as effective in removing allergens and airborne bacteria as true HEPA filters. This means cleaner air inside your home, with fewer allergy and respiratory illness triggers.
  • An efficient air filter means reduced energy costs. Unlike HEPA filters which can actually reduce efficiency in terms of energy usage due to the pressure drop caused by dense filter material, those with a high MERV rating offer vastly improved indoor air quality comparable to that of systems that use HEPA filters, without the increase in operating costs.

Whether you’re a homeowner or business owner in the Dexter and Southeast Michigan areas, Haley Mechanical is dedicated to helping you breathe clean air that’s comfortable – and affordable in terms of energy costs! Give us a call at 734.424.9170 if you want to learn more about MERV ratings and the right air filter for your needs.

Contact One of Our Comfort Advisors Today!