Changing the air filters in your home frequently is something that most people seem to understand. The dirt and debris that float in the air are collected in these filters and eventually, they become built up with the particulates that restrict air flow. When the air filters are responsible for restricting the air flow, the central air system and indoor air quality’s efficiency are hindered. Having a quality air filter can also make a difference and a part of the right kind of filter is the MERV rating. With that in mind, we at Air Supply Heating and Air Conditioning would like to discuss MERV ratings.
What Does MERV Rating Mean?
An industry standard rating system is known as the Minimum Efficiency Rating Value, or the MERV rating, gives you the opportunity to compare the different filters available. The rating is based on numerical value ranging from 1, lowest efficiency, to 20, highest efficiency and the MERV rating gives you efficiency of how well the filter captures and holds dirt and dust of a specified size range. The MERV air filter efficiency rating system was developed by ASHRAE, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers. A Method of Testing General Ventilation Air-Cleaning Devices for Removal Efficiency by Particle Size is the rating system known as the ASHRAE Standard 52.2-2007. The standard 52.2 sets the testing protocols, which is in place to make certain that the testing of filter performance on particles of nominal 0.3-10 micron in diameter is reliable and consistent. Generally based on when the filter is first installed, the guidelines set the performance of the filter based on the particle size, ranging from 0.3 – 10 microns.
What is the Best MERV Rating?
The higher the MERV rating, the better the filter will be at collecting the smaller particle sizes from the air. Designed to remove large particles, and generally used to protect equipment are filters with a MERV of 1 – 4. They are often found in light industrial and residential applications when the average particle size efficiency from 3 to 10 micron is less than 20% for these values. The filters with a MERV 5 – 16 ratings are engineered to remove finer particles and are what are optimally used in applications where it is important to protect individuals or processes from airborne contaminants that could otherwise impact health and productivity.
MERV Rating Chart
The basic guideline of the MERV rating for air filters are as follows.
MERV 1 – 4: Minimum filtration; often found in residential buildings.
MERV 5 – 8: Most commonly found in commercial applications and better used in residential buildings.
MERV 9 – 12: Superiorly used in residential buildings and better used in commercial buildings.
MERV 13 – 16: Typically used in hospital inpatient and general surgery as well as superiorly used in commercial buildings.
MERV 17 – 20: Best used for clean rooms and pharmaceutical manufacturing.
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This gives you the general idea of how the MERV rating is used to grade the filters. Using better rated filters, changing them routinely and getting your professional maintenance throughout the year can keep your HVAC system up to par and maintain the quality of your indoor air quality. Contact Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning for an inspection, tune up or other quality service today!