Air Filter MERV Ratings

Remember to Look for the MERV Rating for your Air Filter

MERV in relation to your heating and cooling sytem stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, a value that lets us know the size of particles an air filter is designed to catch. Higher MERV ratings are better at capturing smaller particles. That’s why hospitals tend to use MERV 16 or higher, to capture the most pollutants possible.

Although lower MERV rated filters are less efficient overall, they let more air to go through the filter, which can assist the operation of the HVAC system. It’s important to have the appropriate mix of air filter and MERV rating for to meet your home’s needs and your system. Call Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning today to let us help determine which MERV rating is ideal for your home and family.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE), which created the MERV rating, advises filters with minimum MERV ratings of 6. The U.S. Department of Energy proposes a minimum of MERV 13. For the best overall solution for most homeowners, by an Air Purification System, which comes with a MERV 16 media filter, and you’ll be set for years.

Here’s how Air Filter MERV Ratings stack up:

  • MERV 1 to 4— <20% of large particles (3 to 10 microns) are captured
  • 5 to 7—Between 20% and 69% of large particles are captured
  • 8 to 10—Approximately 85% of large particles and 50% of small particles (1.0 to 3.0 microns) are captured
  • 11 to 16—More than 90% of large particles and between 70% and 90% of small particles are captured
  • 17 to 20—Even the smallest particles (< 0.3 microns) are captured

The right MERV rating on the right filter could strongly influence impact your indoor air quality, your family’s health and your lifestyle. So picking the right air filter matters. Call Service Experts today at 866-397-3787. We carry a full range of air filtration choices, knowledge and expert service—and we’re here 24 hours a day.

MERV RATING CHART
Standard 52.5 Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value Dust Spot Efficiency Arrestance Typical Controlled Containment Typical Applicaitons and Limitations Typical Air Filter/Cleaner Type
20 n/a n/a < 0.30 pm particle size Clean rooms >99.999% eff. On 10-20 pm Particles
19 n/a n/a Virus (unattached) Radioactive Materials Particles
18 n/a n/a Carbon Dust Pharmaceutical Man. Particulates
17 n/a n/a All Combustion smoke Carcinogenetic Materials >99.97% eff. On 30 pm Particles
16 n/a n/a 0.3-1.0 pm Particle Size General Surgery Bag filter - Nonsupported microfine fiberglass or synthetic media, 12-36 in. deep, 6-12 pockets
Box filter - Rigid Style Cartridge
Filters 6 to 12" deep may use lofted or paper media
15 > 95% n/a All Bacteria Hospital Inpatient Care
14 90% - 95% > 98% Most Tobacco Smoke Smoking Lunges
13 89% - 90% > 98% Proplet Nuclei (Sneeze) Superior Commercial Buildings
12 70% - 75% > 95%
1.0-3.0 pm Particle Size
Legionella
Superior Residential Bag filter - Nonsupported microfine fiberglass or synthetic media, 12-36 in. deep, 6-12 pockets
Box filter - Rigid Style Cartridge
Filters 6 to 12" deep may use lofted or paper media
11 60% - 65% > 95%
Humidifier Dust
Lead Dust
Better Commercial Buildings
10 50% - 55% > 95%
Milled Flour
Auto Emissions
Hospital Laboratories
9
40% - 45% > 90% Welding Fumes
8 30% - 35% > 90% 3.0-10.0 pm Particle Size Commercial Buidlings Pleated Filters - Disposable, extended surface area, thick with cotton-polyester blend media, cardboard frame
Cartridge Filters - Grated density viscous coated cube or pocket filters, synthetic media
Throwaway - Disposable synthetic panel liner
7 25% - 30% > 90% Mold Spores
Hair Spray
Better Residential
6 < 20% 85% - 90% Fabric Protector
Dusting Aids
Industrial Workplace
5 < 20% 85% - 90% Cement Dust
Pudding Mix
Paint Booth Inlet
4 < 20% 75% - 80% > 10.0 pm Particle Size
Pollen
Minimal Filtration Throwaway - Disposable synthetic panel liner
Washable - Aluminum Mesh
Electrostatic - Self-charging woven panel filter
3 < 20% 70% - 75% Dust Mites
Sanding Dust
Residential
2 < 20% 65% - 70% Spray Paint Dust  
1 < 20% < 65% Textile Fibers
Carpet Fibers
Window A/C Units