Do Merv Ratings Really Matter?

When it comes to air quality, higher Merv ratings are often seen as the most effective option. However, they can also cause damage to your HVAC system. A higher MERV rating means greater resistance, which in turn reduces airflow. When researching HVAC systems, it's important to consider the airflow that will be generated.

Generally speaking, filters with higher MERV ratings are more effective and improve air quality, but they also tend to be more expensive. It's important to note that higher doesn't always mean better for homeowners. MERV ratings greater than 16 are usually used in specialized commercial environments such as hospitals. In general, filters with higher MERV ratings capture higher percentages of particles, as well as smaller particles. MERV-13 is typically the ideal rating for most households. The average particle size efficiency in microns is another factor to consider.

Using an air filter with a MERV rating that is too high can be just as bad as using one that is too low. Air filters with higher MERV ratings can filter more, but the thickness of the filter material can restrict airflow. This can lead to decreased comfort, increased energy use, and accelerated wear and tear on HVAC components. In particular, using an air cleaner with a MERV rating that is too high can damage the compressor, heat exchanger, and air conditioner coil. MERV ratings range from 1 to 20, with 1 being the lowest level of filtration and 20 being the highest.

In simple terms, it sets the minimum amount of particles a filter must capture to obtain a specific MERV rating. It's best to comply with furnace manufacturer's recommendations or consult an HVAC professional to determine exactly which MERV rating is best for your specific system. If someone has an allergy or respiratory problem, choose a MERV 11 air filter or even a MERV 13 air filter. In general, air filters with higher MERV ratings remove a higher percentage of contaminants in the air and therefore improve the indoor air quality of your home. The MERV rating is there to tell you how efficient the air filter is at filtering particles of certain sizes. However, a high MERV rating on an air cleaner generally means that the filter is thicker and your HVAC system will have to work harder to circulate air throughout the house.

With the Filter King filter selection tool, you can mark exactly the size, thickness and MERV rating you are looking for. If you are susceptible to allergies, asthma, or other respiratory conditions, you may want to use a filter with a MERV rating of approximately 10 to 12. However, if you are concerned about outdoor air pollution, family members with respiratory problems, or pets in the house, then choosing a higher MERV rating might be a good idea. How HERS Classification is Done The way HERS is done in California has for some time influenced outdoor air supply to be provided by a separate route from heating and cooling, since an uncontrolled CFI outdoor air inlet is not allowed to be sealed during the check for leaks in the duct. Filter technology has grown by leaps and bounds over the years, and MERV ratings are designed to help us determine the most effective and efficient air filter options for heating and cooling systems and more. MERV stands for Minimum Value of Efficiency Reports, which is a rating system designed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). A MERV 8 carbon filter will provide more than enough filtering of dust and allergens and will filter dozens of toxic gases that will pass directly through a MERV 13 filter.

Clara Staino
Clara Staino

Hardcore beer nerd. Typical internet specialist. Devoted zombie buff. Total twitter scholar. Freelance social media practitioner. Infuriatingly humble travel buff.

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