What MERV Rating Should I use?

Who knew there were so many options for an everyday air filter? One of the most important considerations is the MERV rating because it signifies filtration efficiency. And everyone wants cleaner air in their home or business, right?

But determining which MERV rating will work best isn’t a matter of picking the highest rated filter and calling it a day. There are a few other related factors that affect performance in surprising ways.

Let’s take a closer look and find your best MERV rating match!

What is MERV?

MERV stands for minimum efficiency rating value. It’s a nationally recognized measurement system that’s used to rate every air filter. The rating is based on the filter’s ability to catch particles of a specific size.

The MERV rating range is 1-20, with 1 being the lowest and 20 being the highest.

Read More: All About MERV Ratings

MERV Rating Pros and Cons

One of the best ways to determine what MERV rating you should use is to compare the options side-by-side. Below is a quick rundown with details on some of the most common MERV ratings for air filters.

What MERV Rating is Best for Home Use?

The best MERV rating for residential use depends on a few things:

  • The local environment
  • How often you use the HVAC system
  • If anyone in the home has respiratory problems
  • Whether there are pets or smokers in the home
  • Your air filter budget

Generally, a MERV rating between 6-13 meets the needs of most residences. This range offers a good balance between air filtration, air flow and affordability. If you select an air filter with a MERV 13 rating, it can last up to six months before needing to be replaced.

The best MERV rating for residential use is the one that adequately cleans the air in your home without decreasing the air flow and straining your HVAC equipment.

MERV Rating and Air Flow

MERV ratings and air flow go hand-in-hand like they do with air quality. Air filters with the highest MERV ratings are constructed to catch the smallest of particles and tend to be thicker. The denser and more tightly woven the fibers of an air filter are, the harder it is to push air through them. That means the HVAC system must work harder to move air when a filter with a high MERV rating is used. Some systems are equipped to handle this, but if not, the result will be reduced energy efficiency, increased utility bills and decrease the longevity of your HVAC equipment.

With 1,000s of air filter options you’re sure to find what you need at Filterbuy.com. Shop for your next air filter here!