Understanding MERV Ratings – an Air Filter Guide

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MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. It’s an acronym created by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) to provide a scale showing the effectiveness of filters at removing particles of different sizes.

Even though lower MERV rated filters tend to be less efficient overall, they do allow more air to flow through the filter which can improve the operation of your HVAC system. Finding the right air filter and MERV rating for your system is important.

ASHRAE, advise filters with a minimum MERV rating of 6, and the U.S. Department of Energy recommends a minimum of MERV 13. The right MERV rating on the right filter could really impact your indoor air quality, your health, and your lifestyle. So picking the right air filter matters.

Air Filter MERV rating chart

Higher Is Not Always Better

It’s often that people make this assumption: The higher the MERV rating, the better the air filter. This is NOT the case! The truth is, the higher the MERV rating, the smaller the pores for air to pass through. This can create more resistance in airflow than your system is designed to manage, thus making it less efficient. Reducing the air flow in your system can actually worsen the air quality in your home and put a damaging amount of pressure on your systems fan. So doing the research can be worth it.

MERV ratings explained

Find out which air filter has the highest MERV rating and allows for maximum airflow in your system, or for friendly expert advice just give Levco a call: (203) 533-8249. Our certified technicians are ready to help.

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