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Air Filter MERV Ratings

July 01, 2020
Air Filter MERV Ratings

When it’s time to replace your air filter, most people look first at the price tag, and then maybe if you have pets or allergies, you’ll look for a package that mentions them. At Houston Air Duct Cleaning, we recommend you look at the MERV rating, and not just the claims made on packaging or make your decision solely based on the price tag.  A MERV rating, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, is assigned based on the amount of airborne pollutants a filter can remove from the air flow. Basically the higher the MERV rating, the more particles it can filter out of your home’s air. However, it is not always best to get the highest rating you can find. Some heating and cooling systems, depending on their type and age, cannot sustain the restrictive flow of a MERV 12. Call Houston Air Duct Cleaning today for a free in person consultation on what air filter would be best for your home. Until then, here’s a breakdown of the ratings.  MERV Ratings 1 - 4 : Captures particles bigger than 10 micrometers. For example, bugs, dust mites, and household debris. This can be compared to putting a piece of cloth where your filter should go.  MERV Ratings 5 - 8 : Captures particles bigger than 3 micrometers. For example, mold, pet dander, and air freshening sprays. We suggest not going lower than a 5.  MERV Ratings 9 - 12 : Captures particles greater than 1 micrometer. For example, dust and other common pollutants. This is where we recommend you choose your filters.  MERV Ratings 13 - 16 : Captures particles greater than 0.3 micrometers. For example, bacteria, droplets from sneezes, and smoke. These levels of filters can typically be found in hospitals.  MERV Ratings 17 - 20 : Captures EVERYTHING! Typically these filters are used in clean rooms like those that are used for manufacturing electronics, conducting scientific research, and in nuclear power plants.

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