What is the Best MERV Rating for HVAC Systems?

When it comes to selecting the right air filter for your HVAC system, the MERV rating is an important factor to consider. The MERV rating scale ranges from 1 to 20, with lower ratings indicating a lower quality filter. Generally, filters with a MERV 16 rating or lower are suitable for residential, commercial, and general hospital use. A MERV 5 filter can trap up to 34% of particles with a size between 1 and 3.0 microns, while a MERV 6 stops between 35 and 49%.

The MERV 7 prevents up to 69%, and the MERV 8 traps up to 85% of the particles. A MERV 9 captures less than 50% of particles with a size between 1 and 3.0 microns, the MERV 10 stops up to 64%, the MERV 11 captures up to 79%, and the MERV 12 is capable of trapping up to 89%. MERV 13 will prevent less than 75% of 0.3-1.0 micron particles from passing through, while MERV 14 will reach 84%, MERV 15 up to 94%, and MERV 16 can trap 95% or more of the smallest particles. Although ASHRAE recommends MERV models 13 and 14, it's best to select a filter with the highest possible MERV rating for your specific air conditioning system. As an expert in HVAC systems, I can tell you that MERV 8 is known to be effective in filtering pollutants such as pollen, dust mites, sawdust, mold spores, and lint from the air.

However, if you want to ensure that your air is as clean as possible, you should opt for a higher MERV rating. Once you understand how the MERV leaderboard works, you'll be able to choose the right air filters for your HVAC system.

Brittney Everitt
Brittney Everitt

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