What is the Highest MERV Rating for Filters?

Filters with the highest MERV rating of 14-20 are typically commercial, HEPA and ULPA filters. These filters offer the highest level of filtration and are usually not necessary in most homes and businesses. Generally, a MERV 11 air filter is suitable for residential use. In general, anything below a MERV 13 air filter should provide very efficient air purification in a home without affecting airflow.

On the other hand, air filters with a MERV 14 rating or higher are designed for commercial HVAC systems that can handle the coarsest filter material. The MERV rating range is 1 to 20, with 1 being the lowest and 20 being the highest. Merv ratings chart and filter type and particulate matter removed. HEPA filters are at the highest MERV level and work best with protection against air pollutants.

If your home's HVAC system is not capable of handling MERV 13, opt for a filter with the next highest possible rating. MERV 11 air filters can filter a large percentage of fine particles, but a MERV 8 air filter cannot. This means that the HVAC system must work harder to move air when using a filter with a high MERV rating. The table below shows the minimum threshold at which a filter must operate to obtain a specific MERV rating.

Filter technology has advanced significantly 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. One of the best ways to decide which MERV rating you should use is to compare the options side by side. Selecting the right MERV rating is an important decision in terms of total cost, air quality, and product durability. Using an air filter with a MERV rating higher than recommended by the manufacturer of your oven or air conditioner may impair its performance.

Air filters with higher MERV ratings can filter more, but the thickness of the filter material can restrict airflow. With the Filter King filter selection tool, you can select exactly the size, thickness and MERV rating you're looking for. E1, E2, and E3 particles are particle range sizes used in air filter tests to determine a MERV rating. MERV ratings 1 to 16 are considered HVAC system grade filters suitable for residential, commercial and general hospital HVAC systems. However, a high MERV rating on an air filter generally means that the filter is thicker and your HVAC system will have to work harder to circulate air throughout the house.

MERV 17 to MERV 20 filters are explicitly used in an industrial or scientific application, such as surgical operating rooms, cleanrooms and other applications that require absolute cleanliness. One thing to keep in mind is that a MERV 11 air filter may need to be changed more often than a MERV 8 air 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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