The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Condition Engineers developed the MERV rating to measure the efficiency of air filters.
MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) is a system that evaluates the efficiency of an air filter based on how effective it is at catching particles of varying sizes.
The higher the MERV rating, the more particles the filter will catch. See filter king to learn more.
MERV ratings start from 1 to 20, with 1 being the lowest level of filtration and 20 the highest. If you are looking for a home air filter, anything rated between MERV 5 and MERV 13 will work just fine.
Anything higher than MERV 16 is typically found in cleanrooms, hospitals, or nuclear power plants.
MERV 13 filters are more effective and last longer than lower-rated filters. They block fine particles of 1 micron or smaller. For reference, a human hair is about 50 microns, and the human eye can detect particles of 40 microns. MERV 13 air filters can filter the following:
- 98% of 3-10 micron particles (Dust, lint, spores, mold)
- 90% of 1-3 micron particles (Bacteria, finer dust, animal dander)
- 75% of < 1-micron particles (bacteria, tobacco smoke, cooking smoke)
Moreover, MERV 13 filters provide excellent filtration and maximize the performance of your HVAC system. You should consider getting a MERV 13 filter if you have:
- A newborn baby
- Lung disease
- Chronic bronchitis
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- The requirement to use an inhaler, ventilation machine, or oxygen tank
- A weakened immune system
- Someone in a household that smokes
However, a MERV 13 filter isn’t always the best filter for you. You should choose your rating based on your needs and what your HVAC system can handle. If you fail to select the proper air filter, it may put an additional strain on your unit and cause your energy bill to go up.
If you have pets, allergies, or a lung disease, then a MERV 13 filter may be the ideal choice. But if you only need a filter to trap hair, dust mites, or pollen, then a MERV 8 is fine for you.
MERV 13 air filters come in a wide variety of sizes and should be replaced about every six months.
However, if you find that standard-size filters do not fit your HVAC system, you should consider ordering a custom-size air filter based on your needs and exact specifications.
While it may take longer to manufacture them, you should expect to receive them within two weeks. When ordering a custom air filter, it should fit snugly without having to be forced into place. If the filter is too large for the required space, it may cause the filter to buckle or tear. Conversely, if the air filter is too small, dust and pollutants will not be filtered from the air. Moreover, the filter won’t protect your HVAC unit leading to expensive repairs.
According to a study by the EPA, indoor quality is often worse than outdoor air, especially in the largest and most populous cities. Since the average person spends about 90% of their time indoors, health issues may happen due to air contamination.
Every air conditioning and furnace includes an air filter to remove particles from the air. The filter protects the fan and coil of your furnace from dust, but it needs to be replaced regularly.
Failing to replace or clean the air filter may reduce the HVAC system’s efficiency and lifespan. By replacing the air filter on a regular basis, you will reduce the risk of air contamination in your house and improve your and your family’s health.
As an added benefit, changing the filter regularly will save you money over time, as it will prolong the life of your furnace.