Overall, the best MERV rating for a home is between MERV 8 and MERV 10. These filters will capture a large portion of the particles suspended in the air and improve indoor air quality without significantly increasing energy costs. MERV ratings are determined based on the effectiveness of a filter in trapping particles of different sizes. Specifically, we are talking about 12 particles of different sizes, from 0.3 to 10 micrometers (µm) in diameter, that were created in a laboratory environment.
For reference, a human hair measures approximately 50 μm, and the smallest particles that can be identified by the human eye are approximately 40 μm. These 12 particles are then divided into three different size ranges (E1, E2 and E3) and four subranges that exist within each range. The first range, E1, includes particles with a size of 0.3 to 1.0 μm. E2 includes particles of a size of 1.0 to 3.0 μm, and E3 encompasses particles of a size of 3.0 to 10.0 μm.
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends MERV 6 or higher. The U. S. Department of Energy recommends MERV 13, while Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) recommends MERV 8 as a minimum.
Filter technology has grown by leaps and bounds over the years, and the MERV ratings are designed to help us determine the most effective and efficient air filter options for heating, cooling and other systems. The MERV, also known as the minimum efficiency notification value, is a system used to evaluate the efficiency of an air filter based on its effectiveness in trapping particles of different sizes. This means that 81.5% of the dust particles introduced to the MERV filter were successfully filtered from the air. However, if the MERV rating is too high (above MERV 13), it can increase system backpressure and block airflow through the central air conditioning system, worsening the efficiency of the air conditioning system.
It's best to follow the oven manufacturer's recommendations or consult an HVAC professional to determine exactly what MERV rating is best for your specific system. Filterbuy offers MERV 8, MERV 11 and MERV 13 air filters and boilers, covering the normal range of a home's needs by providing clean air while protecting HVAC equipment. A higher MERV rating often means lower airflow, which can make the system work harder and use more energy to do its job. If your home's air conditioning system isn't capable of supporting the MERV 13, opt for a filter with the next highest possible rating. MERV 8 filters usually filter 90% of airborne particles, MERV 11 can remove around 95% and MERV 13 can block approximately 98%.While MERV 8 is known to be effective in filtering contaminants such as pollen, dust mites, sawdust, mold spores and lint from the air, higher MERV rates will further clean the air.
In addition, a MERV 12 filter that is only 1 inch (one inch) thick is likely to be more restrictive than a 4 (four inch) thick MERV 12 filter.