Which MERV Rating is Best for Your Home: 7 or 8?

The Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) rating for an air filter measures how effectively the filter prevents dust and other contaminants from passing through the filter into the air stream. Filters with higher MERV ratings trap small particles more effectively than filters with lower MERV ratings. A MERV 5 filter will trap up to 34%, the MERV 6 will stop 35-49%, the MERV 7 will prevent up to 69%, and the MERV 8 will trap up to 85% of the particles. These filters are slightly more restrictive than MERV 1-4 filters and have the ability to trap mold and pet dander spores along with dust and pollen.

ASHRAE recommends MERV 6 or higher, while the U. S. Department of Energy recommends MERV 13 and LEED recommends MERV 8 as a minimum. The MERV rating you choose between 7 and 13 depends on the level of filtration you need. If your family has allergies or asthma, a higher MERV score will be good for you.

If your family doesn't have any difficulty breathing, a lower filter, such as a 7, will save you some money on your energy bill. The MERV rating of an air cleaner is a scale from 1 to 16 that describes the minimum efficiency of the air cleaner. A higher MERV rating often means lower airflow, which can make the system work harder and use more energy to do its job. A filter with a MERV rating of around 10 to 12 is sufficient to remove most allergy-causing particles from the air in your home. With the Filter King filter selection tool, you can mark exactly the size, thickness and MERV rating you're looking for. 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.

These scales have different ranges than the MERV rating, but they are usually measured based on similar factors. With the lowest MERV rating (1-), your filter will continue to capture pollen, dust mites, cockroach debris, sanding dust, spray paint dust, textile fibers, and carpet fibers. A filter with a higher rating such as 7 or 8 will also capture humidifier dust, lead dust, car emissions, ground flour and other particles. While higher MERV ratings are the most effective for air quality, they can damage your HVAC system. Filters with higher MERV ratings should be changed more frequently (at least every three months) to avoid restricted airflow that can cause the system to operate inefficiently or even damage it.

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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