What MERV Rating is Best for Your Home?

When it comes to air quality, the MERV rating of an air filter is an important factor to consider. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, and it is a rating system designed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). This rating system is used to measure the effectiveness of air filters in trapping particles from the air. The MERV rating scale ranges from 1 to 16, with higher ratings indicating a more effective filter.

A basic MERV 4 filter is the cheapest option, but it won't trap certain small particles such as dust mites and pet dander. For most homes, a MERV 7 or 8 filter is the best balance between performance and cost. If your family has health problems or allergies, then you may want to look for a high-efficiency filter with a MERV 11 or higher rating. A MERV 12 filter can trap up to 89% of particles from 1 to 3 microns and more than 90% of sizes from 3 to 10 microns.

However, filters with higher MERV ratings can be more expensive and require more frequent changes. For residential ovens, filters range from 4 to 12 on the MERV scale. If you are susceptible to allergies, asthma, or other respiratory conditions, then you may want to use a filter with a MERV rating of approximately 10 to 12. A MERV rating of 13 to 16 is considered hospital-level air quality, so it's unlikely that your home will need more than that. When selecting an air filter for your home, it's important to consider the size of the particles you want to trap and the cost of the filter.

Higher MERV ratings are more effective for air quality, but they can also damage your HVAC system if not used properly. To ensure that you get the best air quality for your home, make sure you select an air filter with the right MERV rating for your needs.