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An Ultimate Guide To Understanding The MERV Rating Of Air Filters


An effective air filter can filtrate the dirt, dust, particles, and contaminants that are in the air effectively. You can base the air filter’s capacity to filter out these particles using the MERV rating. 

The size of the air filter is an essential element. Depending on the size, either too small or too big, it will result in different airflow. For example, a 12x24x1 air filter is an optimal size that can work for home and office. 

Generally, the higher the MERV rating of the air filter, the better it is in filtering out particles. The rating is typically a factor that homeowners, business owners, hospitals, and establishments try to consider when buying an air filter.

What is the MERV rating for air filters?

The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value or the MERV rating tests the air filter’s effectivity. A low MERV rating will signify a lesser capability of the air filter to trap and hold to airborne contaminates in the air, including:

  • Dirt and dust
  • Pollen
  • Moulds and spores
  • Pet dander
  • Carpet, textile, and fabric fibres
  • Bacteria and viruses
  • Smoke

The MERV rating is an essential guide for consumers, and they use the rating to compare the effectiveness and performance of different air filters available in the market. 

What is the history of MERV rating?

The MERV rating is an efficiency measurement and scale by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers in 1987. The MERV rating balances a weighted scale between the air filter’s energy efficiency and capacity to filter out particles.

What is the importance of MERV Rating?

The MERV rating is necessary because it tells you the capability of the air filter to function. You can approximate the functionality of the air filter on the given set of standards. The MERV rating help buyers understand air filter effectivity, showing how their chosen air filter type can work based on their filtering requirements.

MERV rating is essential not only for homes. It is also necessary for establishments like hospitals and clinics. These establishments have cleanliness as a priority. 

What are the different MERV ratings?

Here are the MERV rating levels to keep in mind when deciding which air filter MERV rating suits you best:

MERV Rating 1-4

These levels are usually for furnaces and air condition units, and the residential and commercial buildings have these air filters. These rating levels can filter down particulates with 10-micron particle size, including pollen, sanding dust, and fibres.

MERV Ratings 5-8

The MERV rating of 5-8 is efficient for homes and commercial spaces. These levels can filter out sizes of 3 to 10 microns of particulates, including mould, spores, and dust.

MERV Rating 9-12

These filter levels are great for hospital labs, commercial spaces, and residential buildings. It can ideally filter out sizes of 1 to 3-micron particles, including nebulizer and humidifier dust, mould spores, and legionella.

MERV Rating 13-16

These filters are highly-efficient air filters. Patient care facilities like hospitals, nursing homes, and operating and surgical rooms use air filters with a MERV rating of 13-16. It can filter the finest particles of 0.3 to 1 micron in size, like dander, sneeze particles, fumes, and bacteria.

MERV Rating 17-20

The MERV rating of 17-20 is the highest level of rating. The surgical facilities, radioactive, carcinogenic buildings, and pharmaceutical manufacturers use air filters within these MERV ratings. These levels can filter out the tiniest particle size of 0.30 microns. The particles include viruses, combustion smokes, odour, and microscopic allergens.

Interesting Related Article: “Is an Air Purifier Effective in Mold Removal?“

Source: Market Business News