What Is A MERV Rating And What Does It Mean?

The MERV rating is an essential thing a person must know about when having an HVAC system at home.

MERV stands for “Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value.” This method of rating was made by the American Society, Refrigeration and Air Conditioner Engineers as a means of indicating just how effective the filters of an HVAC system is. The higher the number, the more effective it is.

How Do I Know What MERV Rating I Need?

For starters, if you want to know what rating you need, you first have to confirm the maximum MERV value your HVAC is capable of having on its filters. This can be found on your HVAC system’s documents. Keep in mind that exceeding the MERV limit of your system could lead to ineffectiveness of cooling or heating as it isn’t powerful enough to push air through the filter which is filled and being obstructed by dust and other particles.

Next, if you are willing to get a stronger and more powerful system, check what particles or objects you’d want to be strained from reaching your home. The corresponding MERV rating would tell you what it can filter out. They range from 1-20, but unless you are producing electronic components in your home that need to be dust free, you don’t necessarily need to get this high up the bracket.

The Ratings

The following states the different ratings available, shows what they filter, and where they are more commonly used.

MERV 1-4

  • Filter capacity: pollen, standing dust, carpet fibers, dust mites, spray paint.
  • These are the ratings typically found in residential structures with 1 usually found in air conditioners.

MERV 5-8

  • Filter capacity: fabric protector, mold spores, cement dust, hair spray
  • Located in industrial buildings, commercial places, and some residences.

MERV 9-12

  • FIlter capacity: Auto emissions, humidifier dust, lead dust, milled flour
  • Can be seen in hospital laboratories, commercial buildings and even some residences.

MERV 13-16

  • Filter Capacity: most of the Tobacco smoke, Proplet Nuceli, Bacteria
  • Spotted in commercial buildings, smoking lounges, hospital inpatient care, general surgery room.

MERV 17-20

  • Filter Capacity: very small dust particles, tiniest smoke particles, viruses, carbon dust
  • You can catch these in cleanrooms, pharmaceutical manufacturing plants, carcinogenic materials, radioactive materials.

Now that you are better educated on the values and what they stand for, start thinking of which MERV rating you want, and the proper HVAC system to go with it. Don’t forget to consult with the professionals at TDI Air. They will properly advise you on questions or certain issues you have, especially regarding the cost you might have to undertake if you plan on upgrading. Keeping your house clean of potentially harmful elements, and substances is no joke and a must-do in every household. The filtration of your home is one step further to achieving that. If you realize your ideal filter belongs to a higher MERV bracket than usual, it would be necessary for you to spend a little more on your filter, but it’s money invested in your family’s health.

For more tips on optimizing your HVAC system for your family’s health, contact TDI Air at (903) 597-8381.

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