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What are MERV Ratings?

March 26, 2020
MERV Rated | Air Filter Subscription

When you are picking out your filter from FilterTime, it will have something called a MERV rating. What does that mean? How does this apply to you? What rating is best for you and your family?

Let’s start with what does MERV stand for:

The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (or MERV) rating is a rating system used to compare filters made by various manufacturers.

The MERV rating system has a range of 1 to 16. MERV rating 1 is the lowest efficiency with minimum filtration in your filters up to 16 which is the highest efficiency and filtration.

Based on the numbers you think you’ll probably need the highest filtration, this is actually false. If the filtration is too high it could negatively affect your HVAC system in the house. Typically the highest it should be is a 13.

MERV ratings of 9 to 12 are usually the recommended values for your home. This rating helps remove a variety of particles from the house including:

  • Pollen
  • Dust mites
  • Sanding dust
  • Textile/carpet fibers
  • Mold/spores
  • Dust lint
  • Cement dust

When should you use a 16 rating or as low as a 1? Each MERV rating was created for different applications.

The highest filtration or 16 MERV is typically used in hospitals and laboratory settings, they have more than just your standard pollen and dust particles floating around. They need to be filtering the air at a much higher value. While the lowest or 1 MERV is used for window air conditioning units. Since higher-rate filters allow less air to flow through your furnace, it’s a good idea to check if your system has a maximum MERV rating. The wrong type of air filter can force your furnace to work harder and increase the risk of it breaking down.

The type of MERV rating isn’t the only thing you should keep in mind, you should also be worrying about how often you change out your filter. You should be changing it every 1 to 3 months. The more pollen that’s in the air the more often you should change it compared to months with less pollen count.

To make this easier for you, order from FilterTime and have them regularly delivered to your house.


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