HVAC air filters trap dust, pollen, germs and many other small particles. This prevents these particles from circulating into your ductwork. Fewer particles usually means indoor air is cleaner and healthier to breathe. The MERV rating system was created to measure an air filter’s overall efficiency.

You may be asking: “What does MERV mean?” The MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating system was drafted by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). MERV ratings allow you to compare air filters.

A higher MERV filter rating means the filter is more efficient at trapping smaller particles. In general, the MERV rating applies to filters designed to trap particles ranging from 3.0 microns to 10.0 microns. Microns are a very small unit of measurement. Particles within the range of MERV filter ratings are too small for the naked eye to see.

There are many benefits to using the air filter MERV ratings system. Cleaner air is healthier for people with allergies or breathing problems. It may also reduce the circulation of airborne illnesses and keep HVAC equipment running more efficiently.

A-1 United Heating, Air & Electrical wants to make sure your indoor air is as clean and healthy as possible. Continue reading below for additional info about the MERV rating system and indoor air quality solutions we offer.

MERV Filter Ratings

Residential air filters will usually have a MERV filter rating somewhere between 1 to 16. Remember, a higher number is more efficient. ASHRAE recommends a minimum MERV rating of 6. The US Department of Energy suggests a higher minimum MERV rating of 13.

A simple solution for many homeowners is using an air purification system. Filters in these systems have a MERV rating of 16, and generally yield good results.

The following list of MERV values is merely an illustration of how the system is used. These specific numbers are not necessarily standard across various HVAC equipment.

MERV Rating – 6

Air filters with this MERV rating have 35% to 50% minimal efficiency. Particles sized between 3.0-10.0 microns are 50% likely to become trapped within the filter.

Filters with an average rating of 6-7 or lower are common in residential systems and may be washable or disposable.

MERV Rating – 8

This MERV value can result in 70% to 85% efficiency for trapping small particles. Compared to lower MERV ratings, it will filter a larger percentage of small particles close to the 3.0 micron limit.

MERV Rating – 11

Air filters with a rating of 11 start to trap small particles more consistently. You can expect 85% to 95% minimum efficiency for particles sized 3.0-10.0 microns.

While a lower rating than what is included with air purification systems, these air filters are still exceptional pieces of technology. You can find them used in a wide variety of commercial buildings, and even hospital laboratories.

MERV Rating – 16

The highest available MERV air filter rating for residential equipment. These filters capture most large particles and are 95% efficient at trapping the smaller particles.

Air filters with MERV ratings greater than 16 are generally reserved for specialized environments. They are commonly used for surgery and rooms that house hazardous substances. The most efficient MERV-rated air filters go as high as 19-20.

Because these filters are very thick, they may restrict airflow in your system. So, it’s always best to check with a professional like A-1 United before installing one in your furnace.

Trust A-1 United for Quality Indoor Air Solutions

A-1 United Heating, Air & Electrical can help you choose the right air filters for you, your family and your home. We sell and install a wide variety of products that improve indoor air quality, such as whole-home air purifiers and air filtration systems.

To learn more about our available products and services, get in touch with a member of our staff. They can also provide free cost estimates and any other assistance you may need. Schedule an appointment with A-1 United by calling 402-593-7500 today!