Is a MERV Rating Right for You?

When it comes to air filtration, the MERV rating you choose between 7 and 13 depends on the level of filtration you need. If your family has allergies or asthma, a higher MERV rating will help. If your family doesn't have breathing difficulties, a lower filter, such as a 7, will save you some money on your electricity bill. The higher the filter rating, the smaller the particles it will capture and the higher the percentage of particles captured.

Low-efficiency filters are usually within the MERV 1-4 range and high-efficiency filters are those of the MERV 13 and higher. The MERV scale is not linear; the difference between a MERV 6 and a MERV 8 is almost double in terms of the percentage of particles captured. Keep in mind that as the MERV rating increases, the filter becomes more restrictive and more pressure and energy will be needed to expel air. The MPR is different from the MERV, the minimum value of the efficiency report. The MERV system measures the ability of a filter to capture large particles.

The MPR only considers tiny microscopic particles between 0.3 and 1 micron. Air filters with a MERV level 13 or higher are recommended for those who prioritize air quality and may need to treat asthma, serious allergies, and other similar circumstances. A MERV 5 filter traps up to 34%, the MERV 6 stops between 35 and 49%, the MERV 7 prevents it up to 69%, and the MERV 8 traps up to 85% of the particles. Many people don't realize how a filter with a high MERV rating will affect other parts of their air conditioning system. MERV values greater than 13 are usually for hospitals, manufacturing plants, and other environments that have high air quality requirements.

MERV 13 will prevent less than 75% of 0.3 to 1.0 micron particles from passing through, MERV 14 will reach 84%, MERV 15 up to 94%, and MERV 16 can trap 95% or more of the smallest particles. Keeping pets would require a MERV 10 to control their dander, which tends to have smaller particles than the contaminants mentioned above. A MERV 9 will trap less than 50% of particles with a size between 1 and 3.0 microns, the MERV 10 will stop up to 64%, the MERV 11 will capture up to 79% and the MERV 12 is capable of trapping up to 89%. If you have pets or someone in your home has serious allergy problems, you may want to consider a higher MERV value, between 8 and 10.MERV indices range from 1 to 16, and filters with higher MERV indices trap small particles more effectively than filters with lower MERV indices. When using a raised MERV filter, you're likely to see a slight reduction in airflow when using a PSC motor. If you want your air to be at least clean and able to absorb dust, mold, pollen and bacteria, then a MERV 8 is sufficient.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) uses particle size to classify MERV values. Filters with a MERV value of 13 to 16 are the most restrictive and can trap the smallest particles, such as bacteria, tobacco smoke, and burned wood. As an expert in air filtration systems, I recommend that you consider your needs before deciding on an appropriate filter rating for your home or business. If you have allergies or asthma in your family, then it's best to opt for a higher rating such as an 11 or 12. However, if you don't have any breathing difficulties then you can save money by choosing a lower rating such as 7 or 8.It's important to remember that as you increase your filter's rating, it becomes more restrictive which can lead to reduced airflow in your system. This can cause your system to work harder which can lead to increased energy costs over time.

Therefore it's important to find a balance between air quality needs and energy efficiency when selecting an appropriate filter rating. In conclusion, selecting an appropriate filter rating depends on your individual needs. If you have allergies or asthma in your family then it's best to opt for a higher rating such as 11 or 12. However if you don't have any breathing difficulties then you can save money by choosing a lower rating such as 7 or 8.

Brittney Everitt
Brittney Everitt

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