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MERV Ratings: What are they? Which is the best one for you?

May 03, 2019

MERV Ratings: What are they? Which is the best one for you?

If you’ve ever been shopping for air filters for your home before, you’ve probably noticed or have heard of a MERV rating. MERV ratings are a way for you to decipher which level of an air filter is right to improve the air quality in your home. Are you using the right MERV rated filter for your home?

What are MERV ratings?

MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) is a scale that’s used to rate the effectiveness of air filters and how well they will be able to catch particles floating in your home’s air.  MERV ratings range from 1-16 and the higher the MERV rating, the more effective the air filter is at collecting those particles. Lower MERV rated filters are typically less efficient overall, but they allow more air to pass through them, which helps your HVAC system perform better. Therefore, a good balance is needed to improve your air quality and save your HVAC system from working too hard.

Which MERV rating is the right one for you?

One question we get a lot is ‘how do I know which filter is right for me?’ There is no one answer for this, as it depends on a lot of factors, including your climate, number of pets, budget, allergies and asthma, and more. Air filters with a MERV rating between 1 and 4 provide minimal filtration and have to be replaced frequently; MERV ratings between 5 and 8 are great for collecting dust and mold spores in residential areas and typically need to be replaced every 1-3 months; MERV ratings between 9 and 12 collect more of the smaller particles than lower ratings and are often used in homes or commercial buildings; and MERV ratings between 13 and 16 collect the smallest of particles in your air.

Here at FilterTime, we recommend a MERV rating between 8 and 13 for residential use. Air filters with a MERV rating of 8 are good standard filters, ones with an 11 MERV rating are better due to the additional protection from pet dander, and filters with a rating around 13 are the best because they reduce odors as well as other allergens in the air. Our most popular air filter has a MERV rating of 11 and is a step above our Allergen filters because these filters protect from pet dander as well.

Filters with a higher MERV rating need to be changed more frequently to prevent causing issues to your HVAC system. All of the filters from FilterTime, no matter what the MERV rating is, all are designed to protect your HVAC system. Our subscription-based delivery service helps keep your HVAC system running smoothly and efficiently because when you receive your filters every 1-3 months, it reminds you to change them. Changing your filters often helps to keep your air clean but also preserve your HVAC system.

What Filter Quality would you like - Chart



For more information on the air filter quality, MERV ratings, and what each filter protects from, check out the Our Filters page and FAQ page on our website.


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