The quality of your air filter, as indicated by MERV ratings, directly impacts the performance of your HVAC equipment, your indoor air quality, and the comfort and well-being of your loved ones. MERV ratings provide the necessary tools to help you make an educated decision for choosing the air filter that’s right for your home.
Minimum efficiency reporting value, better known as MERV, is a filter rating system that indicates a filter’s effectiveness at removing contaminants from the air. These are the benefits of choosing the right filter:
- Minimize airborne dust and contaminants for the health and relief of loved ones that suffer from asthma and/or allergies.
- Captures potentially dangerous chemicals and emissions.
- Keeps your ductwork and HVAC equipment free of mold and mildew, which saves energy as well.
- Helps remove viruses and bacteria that may circulate through your home.
MERV-rated air filters 1-4 are at the bottom of the efficiency pile. Filters in this range prevent the largest of particles from entering your HVAC system, but they do little to boost your indoor air quality. These filters are generally disposable blue fiberglass, and should be upgraded.
MERV-rated filters 5-7 show signs of improvement. If you have been using the lower-rated filters, you will see signs of improvement. Filters in this range do a better job of protecting HVAC equipment, and removing aerosol sprays, dust mite parts, and mold spores from the air.
MERV-rated air filters 8-13 are recommended by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and for very good reasons. Air filters in this range remove auto emissions (Do you have an attached garage?), lead dust, insecticide dust, humidifier dust, viruses and bacteria, and a host of many more contaminants.
MERV-rated air filters 14-16 are high-efficiency filters that are nearly industrial-strength HEPA filters. However, high-efficiency air filters may hinder airflow to the point of HVAC equipment malfunction. A heating and cooling pro should examine your system to recommend the best filter.
For more information, contact Team Bob’s Heating Cooling Plumbing. For more than 30 years, we’ve provided outstanding service and installation to the residents of the Grand Traverse County area.
Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about MERV ratings and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.