What is a MERV Air Filter and How to Choose the Right One

Air filters are essential for keeping your home's air clean and healthy. The Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) is an industry standard that measures the overall effectiveness of air filters in capturing particles of different sizes. As the MERV rating increases, the finer the filtration becomes, allowing fewer airborne contaminants to pass through the filter. The table also uses percentages based on the chances of an air filter capturing dust particles based on micron size.

Filters with higher MERV ratings can remove more harmful contaminants from your home, but they can reduce the quality of the air you breathe if you select a filter with a MERV rating that is too efficient for your HVAC system. Selecting the right MERV rating for your air filter is a balancing act between the capabilities of your HVAC system and the indoor air quality you want to achieve. With the Filter King filter selection tool, you can mark exactly the size, thickness and MERV rating you're looking for. Air filters with MERV ratings higher than 13 also tend to restrict airflow because they have smaller pores to capture smaller particles.

Changing the air filter in your HVAC system is almost the easiest maintenance you can perform as a homeowner. MERV 17 to MERV 20 filters are commonly used in operating rooms, cleanrooms, and other settings that require absolute cleanliness. As air moves through a building's HVAC system, air filters trap and pick up large and small particles, such as dust, allergens and microorganisms. These air filters provide highly effective residential air filtration for a much healthier breathing environment.

Using an air filter with a MERV rating higher than recommended by the manufacturer of your oven or air conditioner may impair its performance. The MERV rating is superior because it is the international standard and makes it easy to compare filters from different brands. A filter with a MERV rating of around 10 to 12 is sufficient to remove most allergy-causing particles from the air in your home. Choosing the right oven filter is based on balancing indoor air quality with the capabilities of your HVAC system.

All air filters require regular cleaning and filter replacement to function properly. Follow the manufacturer's recommendations for maintenance and replacement.

Conrad Sobczyk
Conrad Sobczyk

Award-winning beer aficionado. Wannabe burrito evangelist. Hipster-friendly pop culture practitioner. Total coffee trailblazer. Incurable zombie specialist. Hardcore webaholic.

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