May 10, 2020

Your home’s heating and cooling system has air filters designed to keep your indoor air clean. Air filters are rated according to their Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). Here’s how to interpret MERV air filter ratings and choose which filters are best for your circumstances.

What Is MERV?

MERV is a rating of how much matter can pass through an air filter. The ratings go from one to 20, with a higher number being better. Filters with MERV ratings of one to four capture particles in the air larger than 10 mm. This is enough to capture bugs, dirt, and dust mites.

Filters with MERV ratings of five to eight capture particles bigger than 3 mm. Filters with ratings of nine to 12 trap particles larger than 1 mm. Filters rated 13 to 16 MERV are designed to capture particles bigger than 0.3 mm. The best filters, rated 17 to 20 MERV, trap nearly all particles in the air. This includes viruses, dust, and smoke. These latter filters are designed for clean rooms in labs and places where electronics are manufactured.

Hi-Tech Air Heating & Cooling in Lakeside, CA, supplies air filters to homeowners. Our goal is to provide people with comfortable indoor environments.

Which MERV Rating Do You Need?

For central heating and cooling systems, the typical air filter has a rating between five and 12 MERV. In practical applications, filters with a rating between seven and 12 have little noticeable difference for many people. Those with allergies may need filters with a higher MERV rating, but people can otherwise choose a lower-rated one and save some money.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) recommends a MERV rating of seven or higher. Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) recommends filters with a MERV rating of 8 or higher.

Hi-Tech Air Heating & Cooling is a quality heating and cooling company service Lakeside. Our services include installation, preventative maintenance, and repairs of air conditioners, furnaces, heat pumps, ductless systems, dehumidifiers, and more. Contact us today to find out how we can help you!

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