When it comes to air filtration, the MERV rating is an essential factor to consider. The MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) scale is used to classify air filters based on their effectiveness in trapping contaminants. A MERV 8 filter is ideal for most domestic applications, as it can capture pollen, dust, lint, dust mites, mold, and other large particle impurities. These filters are good pleated filters and are capable of trapping particles that exist in an ordinary home, such as dust, pollen and hairspray. MERV 8 filters allow good air flow and do not burden residential air conditioning systems.
It is important to note that the MERV 5-8 range can only capture air contaminants of 3.0 microns or more. As a result, MERV 8 filters capture medium-sized particles, such as aerosols, mold and dust. For most homes, this is sufficient. Harmful viruses and bacteria will still circulate through your home, as will smoke and other forms of air pollution. MERV 13 filters can trap more contaminants than MERV 8 filters, but they are more expensive and can restrict airflow to the point of being incompatible with some air conditioning systems.
MERV 14, 15 and 16 filters are typically used in specialized applications where high-level filtration is required. A MERV 8 air filter is effective at trapping most indoor particles that could weaken people with asthma and allergies, or even cause long-term respiratory problems. To determine the MERV, the performance of an air filter is determined by measuring the particle count upstream and downstream of the filter being tested. It is recommended to use an 8 to 13 MERV filter depending on your family's needs and environment, and start using an indoor air quality monitor to determine if a separate air purification system is needed. Many people think that it's best to simply invest in a MERV 20 filter because it's capable of capturing all the contaminants in your home. However, a MERV 8 filter may be sufficient for some homes, while others would benefit from a MERV 13 filter. When selecting an air filter, it's critical to understand the minimum efficiency regulatory value (MERV) ratings.
This refers to everything the lowest MERV filters can trap, as well as to mold, fungus spores, lint and cement dust (in the case of industrial buildings).