What is a MERV Rating? Filtration.com Gives Their Expert Explanation and Advice
With over 60 years of experience, Filtration.com explains what a MERV rating is and why it is important.
Monroe, Ohio (PRWEB) September 25, 2013
MERV is an acronym that stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This is an industry-created rating scale developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioner Engineers – ASHRAE. The scale evaluates the efficiency of a furnace filter and determines how effective it will be in capturing particles within the surrounding air. In the simplest of terms, a MERV rating will show you at a glance what kind of performance you can expect and how efficient it will be in capturing particles such as dust, pet dander, mold spores, dust mites, pollen, allergens and other debris.
The MERV rating scale ranges from the lowest rating of 1 to the highest rating of 16. The rating a filter receives is dependent upon the size of the gaps between the fibers in the filter. The larger the gaps are in the filter, the larger the particles that can get through and back into the homes air supply. If the gaps are smaller, fewer particles can get through, making the air cleaner and healthier to breath. Essentially, the bigger the holes in the filter, the lower the rating and more particles can pass through. The smaller the holes, the higher the rating and less particles can pass through making the air cleaner.
- A MERV 1-4 filter collects pollen, dust mites, cockroach debris, standing dust and carpet fibers. These are typically applied to residential window AC units.
- A MERV 5-8 filter collects mold spores, dust mite debris, cat and dog dander, hair spray, fabric protector and dusting aids. These are typically applied to residential, commercial or industrial work spaces.
- A MERV 9-12 filter collects legionella, humidifier dust, lead dust, milled flour, auto emission particulates, and nebulizer droplets. These are typically used in residential or commercial spaces for residents who have allergies or respiratory problems.
- A MERV 13-16 filter collects bacteria, droplet nuclei (sneeze), cooking oil, most tobacco smoke, insecticide dust, face powder and paint pigments. They are one step away from being a HEPA filter which is typically used in hospitals and general surgery settings.
Filtration.com recommends a homeowner consult the furnace’s owners manual before upgrading to a higher MERV rated filter. Although it is important to choose the most efficient filter, it is also important to know the capacity of air restriction a particular system can handle. The spaces between the fibers (or holes in the filter) are so small in the highly rated filters that the filter will cause resistance against air flow within the furnace. If the furnace is not built to handle such resistance, it can lead to a malfunction. Therefore, it is critical that the filter chosen is the highest MERV rating that a specific system will allow.
The most common MERV rating for a typical residential home system is between a MERV 8 and 12. If the homeowner has any health complication including allergies, respiratory illnesses, or asthma, it is advised to bump the rating up to a MERV 13 or higher depending on the severity of the issue. MERV 14, 15 and 16 are typically conserved for Dr. Offices, serve allergies/asthma or those who are very conscious of germs and clean air.
Filtration.com is part of a family of HVAC companies under the parent company Housh Inc., which is one of the fastest growing e-commerce companies in the nation. Housh Inc. comes from three generations of HVAC expertise, starting back in 1954 when the current owner's grandfather began a local heating and cooling company out of his garage. What started as a small town HVAC business has now turned into a thriving e-commerce company driven by over 60 years of integrity, innovation, and family values. Housh Inc. strives to redefine the HVAC e-commerce industry by promising to make their customer's lives a little easier with a wide assortment of products, free shipping and returns policy, a "365-day Sweat Free Guarantee" and a helpful, friendly customer support line.
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