image description

What Is A MERV Rating And What Does It Mean?

December 15th, 2017 by kcunningham

Living in a household with dust and viruses circulating around the air leads to a higher risk in making you and your family members sick. If you’re looking for a certain basis that can help determine the efficiency of your air filter, you can always have a look into its MERV rating. A MERV rating stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, which  determines how well your air filter works in trapping pollutants, dust particles and other kinds of dirt inside your home. To get to know more about what MERV ratings are, here are a few things to consider.

The Different MERV Ratings

Is your house incredibly dusty? Do you or your family members suffer from asthma? In order to prevent the people in your household from constantly sneezing or wheezing, choose an air filter with higher ratings. The different ratings determines how efficiently the filter can capture dirt and particles circulating in the air. Each number has a special function, and the higher the rating the better it works. MERV ratings range from 1-20, with 1 being the lowest and 20 being the highest.

When you happen to see what an air filter with an MERV rating of 1, it usually helps in capturing large dirt and insects circulating in the air, but it doesn’t function efficiently compared to other air filters with better MERV ratings. Air filters with MERV ratings from 5-8 can perform better in catching finer dust and spray particles. Air filters with a MERV rating of 9-12 are usually found in hospital labs because they can trap heavier kinds of dirt such as fumes, emission, and large bacteria. The best MERV rating ranges from 17-20, and you can fully trust an air filter with that rating. It specializes in capturing viruses and small smoke particles and provides much cleaner air. Also keep in mind in order to have a fully-functional air filter your HVAC system must do the same.

Where To Find The MERV Rating

When you’re looking through different air filter options, you can sometimes find the information of an air filter’s MERV rating in the manual. If the MERV rating is not placed on a filter, then they will often use the Microparticle Performance Rating, or MPR. You can usually find MERV to MPR conversion websites online.

What Kind Of MERV Rating To Use

Depending on the kind of HVAC system you use at home, to help in checking what kind of MERV rating your household needs, review your system’s documentation. If you’re above the limit it can harm the energy and the problems that need to be fixed will be more expensive.

If you need more guidance on what kind of MERV rating to use, do not hesitate to contact HVAC professionals who can give you more information on MERV ratings, like your friends at Thornton Heating. We are happy to help so call us today at (847) 905-1608.