When it comes to residential HVAC systems, the best rating is MERV 13, according to ASHRAE. However, it's important to make sure that your specific system can handle this classification before you upgrade your filter. A higher MERV rating usually means lower airflow, which can cause the system to work harder and use more energy. The Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) is a system used to evaluate the efficiency of an air filter based on its effectiveness in trapping particles of different sizes.
The higher the MERV rating, the better the air filtration capabilities of a particular filter. ASHRAE recommends a MERV 6 or higher, while the U. S. Department of Energy suggests MERV 13 and LEED recommends MERV 8 as a minimum.
Bacteria, most tobacco smokes, and nuclei proliferate (sneeze) can all be filtered out with a MERV 8-13 filter. This means that you can now monitor your air filter and change it regularly to the right MERV value for your home and family. Mathematically speaking, if you want the best air quality, you should buy a filter in the MERV 13-16 category. Filters with higher MERV values are more effective in trapping small particles than those with lower ratings.
In general, filters with a MERV 16 rating or lower are suitable for HVAC systems in residential, commercial, and general hospital settings. These filters are slightly more restrictive than MERV 1-4 filters and can trap mold spores, pet dander, dust, and pollen. Using an air filter with a MERV rating higher than recommended by the boiler or air conditioner manufacturer may affect its performance. Therefore, it's important to check with your manufacturer before making any changes.