When it comes to air filtration, the MERV rating is the industry standard for measuring the efficiency of a filter. The MERV rating system, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, is used to classify air filters according to their ability to capture particles of different sizes. The MERV 5-8 range is designed to capture air pollutants that are 3.0 microns or larger, making MERV 8 filters ideal for trapping medium-sized particles such as aerosols, mold, and dust. When selecting an air filter, it's important to understand the different levels of filtration available.
The most basic level is a MERV 6 filter, which is the most affordable option and will capture basic household dust and pollen. If you're on a tight budget, such as that of a college student, then this is the filter for you. It's not the best for indoor air quality, but it will keep dust away from the air system. The higher the MERV rating, the greater the air filtration capabilities of a particular filter.
MERV 11 filters are slightly more expensive than MERV 6 filters but can improve indoor air quality and help alleviate people with respiratory problems. The pleated filter materials have a 15 cm thick non-woven design that helps them to retain their shape even when there is dirt or when air pressure drops. MERV 14, 15 and 16 filters are often used in specialized applications where high-level filtration is required, such as hospital operating rooms and other environments where it is crucial to capture even the smallest particles, including bacteria and viruses. But what really sets these filters apart from all other options on the market is their efficiency and durability. It's important to measure your air filter to make sure you buy the right size that is compatible with your air conditioning system.
If you're concerned about mites and mold spores, then it's worth spending a little more on a MERV 8 filter. However, using the highest MERV rated filter in your home would restrict that air flow and make it difficult for your air conditioning system to function properly, potentially leading to breakdowns and premature system replacement. Strict building codes and increased foot traffic generally mean that commercial properties should opt for a filter with a higher MERV rating. If you're unsure which MERV rating to use, you can ask professionals to make a recommendation during a routine visit for basic air conditioning system maintenance. It's important to choose the right filter based on the benefits you want to obtain in indoor air quality and the capabilities of your air conditioning system.