When it comes to residential HVAC systems, the best rating to use is MERV 13, according to ASHRAE. In most cases, a MERV 11 air filter is suitable for residential use. Generally speaking, any filter with a MERV rating lower than 13 should provide efficient air purification in a home without affecting air flow. On the other hand, filters with a MERV rating of 14 or higher are designed for commercial HVAC systems that can handle the thicker filter material.
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Report Value and is a classification system created by ASHRAE (American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers) to measure the effectiveness of air filters. Not all filters are made the same way, and the higher the number, the better the filter. However, your HVAC system may not be able to handle a higher number. It's best to follow the oven manufacturer's recommendations or consult an HVAC professional to determine which MERV rating is best for your specific system.
Filter technology has advanced significantly over the years, and MERV ratings are designed to help us choose the most effective and efficient air filter options for heating and cooling systems and more. While you may think that a higher MERV rating means a better air filter, that's not always true. Filters with a MERV rating of 5-8 provide good filtration and remove most pollen, mold spores and dust mites. Increasing just three MERV rating levels can be beneficial in making the air cleaner, or it can be detrimental to your entire HVAC system if you consider the air flow capabilities of the MERV 8 versus the MERV 11.On the other hand, a high MERV rating indicates that the filter does an excellent job of removing particles from the air.
If you're concerned about outdoor air pollution, family members with respiratory problems, or pets in the house, then opting for a higher MERV rating might be a good idea. Sometimes, particles such as pollen, pet dander, and fine dust can slip through the filter unless you get one with a higher MERV rating. MERV 11 air filters are slightly more expensive than standard filters, but paying a few extra dollars per filter is usually worth it for added efficiency. The MERV rating is higher because it is an international standard and makes it easy to compare filters from different brands.
The following table shows the minimum threshold at which a filter must operate to obtain a specified MERV score. Air filters with higher MERV values may filter more particles but may also restrict air flow due to their thicker filter material.MERV 8 air filters and MERV 11 air filters may seem similar but have some clear differences. In 1987, ASHRAE created the MERV rating scale to provide an accurate picture of an air filter's capabilities. A higher MERV rating often means lower airflow, which can cause your system to work harder and use more energy to do its job.
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