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MERV Filters: Demystified

Updated: Aug 30, 2023


Learn about MERV Filters
MERV Filter

Breathing Better and Living Fresher with MERV Filters

The mysterious MERV rating actually stands for "Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. In simpler terms, it's a standardized rating system that classifies the efficiency of air filters. The higher the MERV rating, the more effective the filter is at trapping particles including dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, and even some bacteria.


MERV ratings can range from 1 to 20, with each level reflecting the filter's ability to capture particles of different sizes. Here's a breakdown of the MERV ratings:

  • MERV 1-4: These filters are considered basic and capture larger particles like dust and pollen. They provide little filtration but they are better than no filter at all.

  • MERV 5-8: Filters in this range are more effective at removing smaller particles like mold spores and pet dander. They provide moderate filtration and are commonly used in residential homes.

  • MERV 9-12: Filters in this range can capture even smaller particles, including fine dust and some bacteria. They are commonly used in more commercial settings or and industrial areas.

  • MERV 13-16: These filters are considered high-efficiency filters and are excellent at trapping particles like smoke, viruses, and even smaller bacteria. They offer superior indoor air quality and are most commonly used in hospitals and clean room environments.

  • MERV 17-20: Filters in this range are used in specialized settings, such as clean rooms and laboratories. They can trap particles as small as viruses and are not typically found in residential or standard commercial applications.


IS A HIGHER MERV RATING BEST FOR YOUR RESIDENTIAL HOME?

The answer is NO. Higher MERV ratings do provide better filtration but they also reduce airflow and increase pressure which can lead to system issues. It's crucial to find a balance between filtration efficiency and airflow to ensure optimal performance and energy efficiency. Dodge Cooling and Heating can inspect your system capabilities and recommend what MERV rating is best for your system. Call us today!


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