What MERV Rating Filters Should I Use

What MERV Rating Filters Should I Use

If you are looking to buy a residential or commercial HVAC filter then you have heard of the term "MERV rating". And you are probably wondering which MERV rating is best suited for your home. Your search is over! This article is everything you need to know about MERV ratings and which HVAC air filters are best for you.

What Is MERV Rating?

Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) is a rating system developed by The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). It is a rating system that reports the performance of air filters. The MERV score of a filter ranges from 1 to 20, with 20 being the highest.

The MERV Rating Chart: An Overview

You'll be able to choose HVAC air filters with the MERV ratings that are perfect for you after you understand how the MERV rating chart works.

The MERV scale is an industry-standard, so keep that in mind. Hence, you can use it to compare different air filter brands. The MERV rating scale is a numerical scale with values ranging from 1-to 20. The greatest MERV rating indicates that an air filter will capture the most dust, while the lowest MERV value indicates that a filter will capture the least dust.

“The higher the MERV rating, the more particles are caught by the air filter.”

MERV Rating 1- 20

HVAC system grade filters with a MERV rating of 1 to 16 are acceptable for residential, commercial, and general hospital use. MERV 17 to MERV 20 filters are used specifically in industrial and scientific applications such as surgical operating rooms, clean rooms, and other applications that demand extreme air purity.

MERV Rating 1 - 4.

Pre-filter in business buildings, household furnace filters, and window AC units are examples of typical applications of this range. MERV 1-4 filter pollen, dust mites, sanding dust, and textile/carpet fibres; particles of the size of 10.0-microns.

MERV Rating 5- 8.

Pre-filters or final filters, commercial buildings, better residential buildings, industrial workspaces, and paint booth inlets are examples of typical applications of this range. They filter mould spores, dust lint, fabric protector, and cement dust; particles of size 3.0 to 10.0 microns.

MERV Rating 9-12.

Pre-filters or final filters, hospital laboratories, big business buildings, and large apartment complexes are examples of typical applications. They filter legionella, lead dust, humidifier dust, coal dust, and nebulizer dust; particles of size 1.0 to 3.0 microns.

MERV Rating 13-16.

Final filters, general surgery laboratories, superior commercial structures, hospital inpatient care, and smoking lounges are examples of typical applications. HVAC air filters of MERV 13-16 rating filter bacteria, tobacco smoke, car fumes, sneeze nuclei, pesticide dust, copier toner, pet dander, and face powder; particles of size 0.3 to 1.0 microns.

MERV Rating 17- 20

Final filters, pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, and orthopaedic surgery rooms are examples of typical applications. They filter virus vectors, carbon dust, sea salt, combustion smoke, radon progeny, smells, and microscopic allergies; particles of sizes less than 0.30 microns.

MERV Rating Compared To Other Ratings

The MPR established by 3M and the FPR developed by Home Depot are two other filter ratings. These scales have different ranges than the MERV grade, although they usually assess the same things. Because the MERV rating is the international standard, it's easier to compare filters from different manufacturers.

Determining The MERV Filter You Need

These tips can assist you in determining the air filter you re

  • Higher Doesn't Always Mean Better

The greater the MERV rating, the better. Higher-rated filters can trap more particles, but they also put more strain on your HVAC system and raise your energy bill. In most cases, a filter that is somewhere in the middle will suffice.

For Your Home:

In general, a home's MERV rating should be between 8 and 10. These filters will collect a substantial percentage of airborne particles and enhance indoor air quality without considerably increasing your energy expenditures.

A Piece Of Advice

  • Do Not Overuse Your Air Filter

Failure to change your air filter might result in a variety of problems. The main issue is that it causes your air conditioner to work extra, resulting in increased energy expenditures and wear and tear. Changing your air filter regularly ensures that your HVAC system functions effectively.

  • Save Money When Purchasing In Bulk.

Purchasing filters in bulk might save you time and money. You can save money by purchasing multiple filters at once from Custom Filters Direct - an air filter supplier.


Choosing the right MERV filter will save you cost and maximize your HVAC system efficiency. We hope we have provided the guide you need to make the best decision for your indoor air quality and your HVAC system. Let us know in the comments how we can help more.

Wojciech Kuźma

My name is Wojtek and I am very happy that you came to my healthy lifestyle blog. In human life, health is probably the most important factor needed for happiness, so I thought I will make a contribution to this and try to promote healthy eating and sport.

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