What is a MERV Rating and How Does it Impact Air Quality?

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and is a nationally recognized system used to classify air filters. This system is based on the filter's ability to trap particles of a specific size, ranging from 1 to 20, with 1 being the lowest and 20 being the highest. The MERV rating indicates the filter's ability to capture larger particles between 0.3 and 10 microns (µm). The most common airborne pollutants that these filters are tested against typically include pollen, dust mites, mold spores, dust, pet dander, bacteria, and tobacco smoke.

If your family has allergy problems or serious respiratory issues, such as asthma, you may want to invest in filters with higher MERV ratings. Before you buy a new oven filter, be sure to check if your air conditioning system has a MERV rating limit. MERV 11 filters are a little more expensive, but they can improve indoor air quality to help alleviate people with respiratory problems. With finer filtration, fewer airborne contaminants (26% of dust particles) can pass through the filter. However, as the MERV rating increases, air flow decreases, forcing the air conditioning system to work harder to push air through the oven, increasing the chance of a possible breakdown.

Designed with three stages of air filtration plus a UV light, for hospitals, dental offices and more. Choosing the right MERV rating for your boiler filter has a big impact on indoor air quality, your air conditioning system, and most importantly, your family's well-being. Air Engineers Service Experts is your local Jacksonville HVAC expert and helps you make informed decisions for your home. MERV 8 to 13 pleated filters can effectively filter small particles and reduce pressure drop (this is the closest thing to MERVana).

There is no difference between an oven and an AC air filter and the terms are often used interchangeably. Below, you'll see a table that can help you determine the MERV classification needed for a variety of configurations. To choose the right heating filter, you have to balance indoor air quality with the capabilities of the air conditioning system. A higher MERV rating may mean slightly more restricted airflow; however, most current HVAC systems are capable of handling a MERV 11 air filter without overloading the system.

As long as you have an air filter installed in the air return system, there is no way to prevent a pressure drop.