What Merv Rating Do I Need? – How to Choose the Right Air Filter for Your Home 

Choosing the right filter can often cause confusion, and you may have many questions, such as what does MERV mean? What size should I buy? And is it worth spending more?

FilterKing has done the research to provide you with all the information you need so your purchase is easy peasy.

Size Is Important

When buying an HVAC filter, size is essential. When you choose the correct size, you keep your HVAC working as it should.

If you opt for an air filter that’s too small, the air will be able to flow around it, causing your home to be polluted with the contaminants you are trying to remove. These include dust, allergens, and more.

Alternatively, if you opt for too large of a filter, don’t think you can cut it down to size, as the pollutants could still get through.

What MERV Rating Do I Need?

The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) is beneficial when you want to understand how much of the common pollutants the air filter could catch. These include dust, debris, dander, etc. The MERV has a rating from one to twenty. The higher the MERV, the filter is more effective at removing even the smallest particles. 

MERV 1-4

These filters are used for window AC units and are not beneficial for indoor spaces. This is because they pick up pollutants 10 µm and bigger. These filters are not ideal as they aren’t very effective. 

MERV 5-8

MERV 8 is one of the most popular MERV filters. This is because they can pick up mold, spores, dust, lint, and more that range from 3 to 10 µm. MERV 5-8 filters are suitable for both home and office use. 

MERV 9-12

A MERV between 9-12 is perfect for dust, pet dander, etc. This filter is beneficial for those with severe allergies or asthma as they capture particles from 1 to 3 µm. These may be fitted in both home and commercial properties.

MERV 13-16

These filters are a good choice for those with severe allergies or multiple pets in the home. A MERV filter with a rating of 13-16 is a good choice for hospitals, surgery rooms, and inpatient care. This is because they may trap particles as small as 0.3 to 1.0 µm.

MERV 17-20

Filters with a MERV of 17-20 are best for working with dangerous chemicals or radioactive treatments. They can trap particles as small as 0.3 µm, which include viruses, dust, allergens, and radon. 

Which MERV Rating is Best For My Home?

For most households, a MERV 8 is a good fit. This is due to the fact it picks up dust and dirt. However, if you own multiple animals or one of the household members has severe allergies, it’s worth investing and choosing a higher MERV.

As we are all spending more time at home, it’s essential to choose the right air filter that will keep the whole family healthy, even the four-legged friends!

Emily Brookes
Emily Brookes

Emily Brookes is an Interior Designer based in the UK. Since graduating from the National Design Academy with a Bachelors Degree in Interior Design, Emily started her successful blog, Emily May Designs, which shares ideas and inspiration on how to create a beautiful home.

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