As we have explained in previous posts, your filters play an essential role in keeping your AC system running smoothly and efficiently. When you need to compare filters, the MERV rating is one of the main factors to keep in mind. Keep reading to learn more.
What’s the MERV Rating?
The term MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values. This rating was developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) to evaluate the performance of AC filters.
Simply put, the MERV rating is an indicator of a filter’s ability to capture particles of various sizes measured in microns (one twenty-five-thousandth of an inch). There are seven MERV levels:
- MERV 1-4- Less than 20% efficiency in capturing particles measuring 3.0-10 microns.
- MERV 6- 49.9% efficiency in capturing particles measuring 3-10 microns.
- MERV 8- 84.9% efficiency in capturing particles measuring 3-10 microns.
- MERV 10- 50%-64.9% efficiency in capturing particles measuring 1.0-3.0 microns. 85% or greater for particles measuring 3.0-10 microns
- MERV 12- 80%- 89.9% efficiency in capturing particles measuring 1.0-3.0 microns. 90% or greater for particles measuring 3.0-10 microns
- MERV 14- 75%-84% efficiency capturing particles measuring 0.3-1.0 microns. 90% or greater for particles measuring 1.0-3.0 microns
- MERV 16- 75% efficiency or greater capturing particles measuring 0.3-1.0 microns
As you can see, the higher the MERV rating, the greater the ability of a filter to capture pollutants.
Which MERV Rating Should You Choose?
Many HVAC systems come with a MERV-8 filter already installed as the default. That’s the minimum protection for most households.
However, you may consider upgrading your filters if you have pets or if you need better filtering for medical reasons. Upgrading to the highest-rated filter your unit can accommodate may increase your system’s ability to remove viruses and other damaging agents from circulating air.
Before making a decision about your filters, check the manufacturer’s recommendations. Or, if you need help from a professional, don’t hesitate to contact our experts at Zero Heating AC & Refrigeration — we’ll be glad to assist you and answer all your questions!
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