What is the Best MERV Rating for Your Home?

When it comes to air cleaning, low values are not desirable as they are not suitable for the job. Mid-range filters with a MERV rating of 8 to 13 are usually the best option for most homes. However, the best one still depends on each unique home. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) suggests the MERV 13, but it may not be the most efficient choice for some residential HVAC systems.

In fact, the MERV 11 may even be too restrictive. It is best to follow the oven manufacturer's recommendations or consult an HVAC professional to determine exactly which MERV rating is best for your specific system. The MERV classification system makes it easier to compare filters with different MERV ratings. According to the EPA, a MERV 8 filter is capable of capturing 20% or more of particles from 1.0 to 3.0 microns in size and 70% or more of particles from 3.0 to 10.0 microns in size.

Another option is to use a MERV 8 or 11 filter and add an air purifier to your home designed to remove allergie-causing impurities. Choosing the right MERV rating is an important decision in terms of total cost, air quality, and product durability. They are more expensive than MERV 8 filters, but they are still easy to find and don't cost a lot of money. MERV 8 air filters are almost as affordable as less efficient products, making them good value for money.

The MERV rating you need depends on several factors, such as your specific concerns about indoor air quality, the compatibility of HVAC systems, and professional recommendations. MERV ratings range from 1 to 20, with 1 being the lowest filtering capacity and 20 being the highest filtering capacity. While some online sites talk about MERV 17-20 filters, the EPA and ASHRAE only rate filters on the MERV scale from 1 to 16. A MERV 8 filter is known to be effective at filtering airborne contaminants such as pollen, dust mites, sawdust, mold spores and lint. Higher MERV rates will further clean the air.

It is important to remember that filters with higher MERV ratings must be changed more frequently (at least every three months) to avoid airflow restriction, which can cause the system to operate inefficiently or even damage it. If you are trying to choose between a MERV 8 air filter and a MERV 11 air filter, here is what you need to know: choose a MERV 8 to 13 filter depending on your family's needs and environment, and start using an indoor air quality monitor to help you determine if a separate air purification system is needed.