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MERV Ratings for Your HVAC Filter

What Impact Do MERV Ratings Have On My HVAC?

Whether you’re moving into a new home or doing some regular HVAC maintenance, it’s likely that you’ve heard of MERV ratings, but have no idea what they are or how they impact your home. It’s not some sort of robot; these ratings can help keep your home’s air quality safe. Here’s how.

What MERV Stands For

MERV means Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, aka “how efficient and effective is my air filter?” These ratings can be used as a baseline for judging the quality of your air filter.

Typically, MERV ratings range from 1-16. The higher the number, the fewer dust particles and other contaminants that will be able to pass through the filter. MERV ratings can help you and your HVAC technician decide on the best filter for your home that will work to keep out these common air pollutants:

  • Dust mites

  • Pollen

  • Carpet fibers

  • Mold spores

  • Pet dander

  • Tobacco smoke

  • Bacteria

What Rating Should My Air Filter Have?

Most households in the U.S. have an HVAC filter with an average MERV rating between 7-12. Municipalities such as hospitals typically have the best air filters, ranging between 13-16 on the MERV scale.

You may be wondering why all homes don’t use a filter with a 16 rating on the MERV scale. This is because a higher rating does not always mean the filter is better. If your air filter has pores that are too small, air can become restricted and can make your system inefficient. It’s important to work with your HVAC technician to pick a filter that’s the perfect fit for your home.

At Rescue Air, we’re here for all of your indoor air quality and HVAC needs. We’ll work with you to ensure your home has the best air quality possible, and keep your family breathing easy. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.