Taking the mystery out of what MERV ratings are and how they affect the air quality of your home doesn’t have to be a chore. We’ll break it down for you in an easy and comprehensive way. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, by which your indoor air filter is measured according to the filter’s ability to arrest airborne particles. Filters are measured on a MERV scale from 1-16.

Choosing the right air filter can greatly improve the indoor air quality of your home and give your family relief from common irritants such as allergens, tobacco smoke, spores, dust mites and odors. Your air filter will vary in efficiency depending on its composition. Let’s break it all down by the numbers.

  • The most common air filter type found in most homes and apartments has a MERV rating of 1-4. These filters capture contaminants 10 microns and larger, such as carpet fibers, pollen, dust mites, sanding and spray paint dust. These types of air filters need to changed very often.
  • Filters with a MERV 5-8 are basic commercial filters and are highly recommended for home use due to their ability remove mold spores, fine cement dust and particles as large as 3 microns in size.
  • Commercial and industrial air filters that are rated between 9 and 12 have the ability to arrest particles that are 1-3 microns in size such as smoke, lead and insecticidal dusts.
  • Hospitals, sterile environments and clean rooms require extra protection and use filters rated MERV 13-16. These air filters will capture particles as small as 0.3 microns in size, such as viruses, bacteria and fumes from cooking. These Merv 16 filters are available for home use and are highly recommended for homes.

It’s also important to note that electrostatic filters are not listed and do not have MERV ratings due to the fact that they use a different method of capturing particles.If you’d like more information or a consultation, our friendly and knowledgeable experts at Acosta Heating and Cooling will be glad to answer any questions you may have. Contact us today!