Choosing the Perfect MERV Rating for Your Home

When it comes to selecting the ideal air filter for your home, it's essential to understand the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating. This rating system helps you decide the best filter for your climate system and home size. To get started, consult the owner's manual for the indicated maximum MERV rating. Using a filter with a value higher than the recommended limit can affect the efficiency of the system and lead to expensive repairs in the future. In addition, check the specifications of your air conditioning system to determine the size of air filter you need.

The dimensions should be printed on the frame of your old filter. These filters will capture a large portion of particulates suspended in the air and improve indoor air quality without significantly increasing energy costs. A MERV filter with a rating of 16 is usually used in more commercial settings. Depending on where you live, the size of your home, and if you have pets, you may need to replace the air filter once a month, twice a month, or three times a month. A dirty filter also allows contaminants, such as dust and pollen, to enter your home's air supply, which can be detrimental to your family's health.

Experts recommend inspecting the air filter once a month and replacing it if you can't see the filter material through the dust.


ratings are measured on a scale from 1 to 16 and stand for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values. Ratings greater than 16 are often used in specialized commercial environments where air filtration is critical, such as hospitals. A MERV rating of 1 to 6 is the lowest range of MERV ratings, but that doesn't mean you should rule out a filter with a rating within this range. The table also uses percentages based on the chances of an air filter capturing dust particles based on their size. Researchers from India compiled a series of studies that considered the effect of air filtration on indoor air quality and resulting positive health outcomes.

The highest MERV rating means an air filter will capture the most dust, while the lower rating means it will capture less dust. Finally, remember to check your filter every 1 to 3 months (based on its MERV classification and other factors such as pets in your home) for maximum efficiency and performance.