Basics on Furnace Filter MERV RatingsWhen it comes to the quality of air in your home, furnace filters are a vital factor. These filters, which help remove contaminants and other particles from your air as it flows through your HVAC system, come in several varieties. At Airtime Heating & Cooling, our furnace service includes a full range of expertise on furnace filters. The biggest factor here? Your MERV rating, which speaks to the fineness of particles that will be caught by a given filter. Let’s go over the basic range of MERV ratings, and which is right for you. Number Ranges MERV ratings, which stand for “minimum efficiency reporting value,” range from 1 to 20. Here are the basic ranges:
- MERV 1-4: Filters that catch large particles like dust, mites, pollen, carpet fibers, insects, and various pieces of insect waste. Most common for residential HVAC systems.
- MERV 5-8: Catch finer particles, mold spores, pet dander and aerosol sprays. Used in some homes, and in most commercial areas.
- MERV 9-12: Filters that grab auto emissions, welding fumes, lead dust and certain larger bacteria. These are rarely used in homes.
- MERV 13-16: Heavy-duty filters that catch all ranges of bacteria along with smoke, oil droplets and even sneezing particles. These are mostly used in hospitals and surgical centers.
- MERV 17-20: These catch viruses, carbon dust and the smallest smoke particles. Generally used in clean rooms where sensitive medicines or electronics are produced.