What is the Best MERV Air Filter for Your Home?

Overall, the best MERV rating for a home is between 8 and 10. These filters will capture a large portion of particles in the air and improve the interior. In most cases, a MERV 11 air filter isn't too tall for residential use. Generally speaking, anything under a MERV 13 air filter should provide very efficient air purification in a home without affecting airflow. Meanwhile, air filters with a MERV 14 rating or higher are designed for commercial HVAC systems that can handle the coarsest filter material.

A MERV rating of between 6 and 13 typically meets the needs of most residences. This range offers a good balance between air filtration, airflow, and affordability. If you select an air filter with a MERV 13 rating, it can last up to six months before you need to replace it. MERV ratings 1 to 16 are considered HVAC system grade filters suitable for residential, commercial, and general hospital HVAC systems.

Overall, our recommended MERV rating for oven filters ranges from 6 to 8 to strike a great balance between maximum oven efficiency and home comfort. The table below shows the minimum threshold at which a filter must operate to obtain a specific MERV rating. If your HVAC system doesn't allow this type of air filter and your home has someone who suffers from allergies or asthma, it's probably best to upgrade your system to accept the thicker sizes. In general, air filters with higher MERV ratings remove a higher percentage of contaminants in the air and, therefore, improve the indoor air quality of your home.

If someone has an allergy or respiratory problem, choose a MERV 11 air filter or even a MERV 13 air filter. This means that the HVAC system must work harder to move air when using a filter with a high MERV rating. If you are susceptible to allergies, asthma, or other respiratory conditions, you can use a filter with a MERV rating of approximately 10 to 12. When the air filter is dirty, less air can travel through the HVAC system, increasing operating times and reducing efficiency. They may seem to be almost the same, but MERV 8 air filters and MERV 11 air filters have some different differences. According to this article, there is an established connection between higher concentrations of particles in outdoor air and poor health outcomes, so it would make sense that filtering these particles out of indoor air could lead to better health outcomes.

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. MERV 17 to MERV 20 filters are explicitly used in an industrial or scientific application, such as surgical operating rooms, cleanrooms and other applications that require absolute cleanliness. The table also uses percentages based on the chances of an air filter capturing dust particles based on micron size. Filters with a MERV rating of 8 to 13 are usually high-end filters for domestic use or high-quality commercial filters. Pleated filters that are MERV 8 to 13, unlike fiberglass, can effectively filter small particles and decrease pressure drop (this is the closest thing to MerVana you can find).

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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