Air Filter

What Does MERV Rating Mean?

Indoor air quality can have a huge effect on the health of everyone in the household and your guests. For example, air filters that allow pollen and dust into your home can directly irritate asthma and allergies. Every household is different and smart consumers should take the time to decide what kind of air filter they need in their home. One of the most important ways you can do that is by learning about the MERV rating. We’ll walk you through it!

What Does MERV Rating Mean?

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and is used to measure the effectiveness of air filters. The ratings go from 1 to 16. In simple terms, lower MERV rating air filters let more things through, while a higher MERV filter can capture even the smallest of particles. A filter with a rating of 3 will trap spraypaint dust, while a 14 can capture cigarette smoke and even airborne bacteria. Now that you know this, you may think you need to get a MERV 16 filter and call it a day, but that might not be what’s best for your home.

Is a Higher MERV Rating Always Good?

In short, no. In order to capture particles as small as cigarette smoke, high MERV rating filters need to be very restrictive. Air has to be pushed through the small holes in the filter and not every heating or air conditioning system is designed to do that. Consult with our Indiana-based specialists if you’re interested in a high MERV-rated filter and aren’t sure if your home system can handle it.

What MERV Rating Should Your Air Filter Be?

The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioner Engineers, or ASHRAE, are the group that developed the MERV rating system and they recommend that your home have at least a MERV 6 air filter. That’s a good place to start and will cover the basics like pollen and dust. If you have pets in the home and want to limit allergies for your family members or guests, a MERV 11 filter would be a good fit. A MERV 13 could effectively capture viruses and bacteria, which won’t be necessary for most families but could be vital for some.

Air filters affect indoor air quality more than almost anything else in your home. If you want to make sure you get the best one for your household, consult a professional. We offer comprehensive indoor air quality inspections of your home and can help you decide on which MERV rating your air filters should be.

Give Complete Comfort Heating, Plumbing & Air Conditioning a call at (317) 671-7552 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or fill out an online contact form.