The performance and effectiveness of air filters for commercial or residential AC systems are measured by their MERV ratings. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, and MERV ratings give consumers an idea of the types of particles and contaminants that a particular air filter can block. Understanding the basics of these important numbers can help you choose the right product for your home.
Let our air quality specialists at Air Products & Services explain the different filter grades of the MERV rating system.
MERV 1 to 4
These ratings are often carried by fiberglass and reusable filters, which are considered to be of low-grade quality. Despite their low numbers, these filters are usually good enough for most residential uses. They’re effective at trapping dust particles, pet hair, carpet fibers and other contaminants common in many households.
MERV 5 to 8
Filters with this mid-range rating have much better filtration ability than most other air filters. You’ll find that most new air conditioning installation products are in this range by default, particularly because of the difference they make in improving your IAQ, or indoor air quality. These filters are primarily used for homes prone to smaller dust particles, pet dander, mold spores and pollen, of which they can trap most types.
MERV 9 to 12
Residential heating and cooling units max out at these ratings. These filters can effectively protect your home against smoke particles from vehicular exhaust emissions as well as most common bacteria such as Legionella.
MERV 13 to 20
These higher-range filters are commonly used in factories, laboratories and hospitals with strict contamination protocols. Most filters rated 17 or higher are incompatible with the common HVAC systems found in most homes, although people with medical conditions that make them extremely sensitive to contaminants can opt to have their air conditioning system specialized to meet their unique needs.
Our residential and commercial AC maintenance professionals at Air Products & Services can help improve your indoor air quality while keeping your heating and cooling systems in excellent shape. Schedule a service visit or consultation today by giving us a call at (818) 334-8403 or filling out our online contact form. We offer free estimates on new equipment. We serve Tarzana, CA, as well as all surrounding areas.