The HVAC industry sure loves its acronyms! MERV is the one we use for air filter effectiveness, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. Below, we’ll walk you through the different MERV ratings available and what they can do for your Cincinnati home or business.
This is the lowest group available. You’ll find these filters in residential or light commercial applications, but they really aren’t the best choice. They offer minimum protection for your HVAC equipment and do little for air quality. Filters with this rating may be disposable or washable.
- MERV 1-4 filters capture particles above 10 microns in size
- Types of contaminants trapped include pollen, larger dust particles, carpet fibers, dust mites, pet dander
These filters are a better option for residential and commercial buildings. They may be pleated, or cartridge filters.
- MERV 5-8 filters are effective in capturing particles from 3.0 to 10.0 microns in size
- Contaminants caught include mold spores, dusting aids, hairspray, cement dust
MERV 9-12 filters are superior for residential applications and a good choice for many commercial applications.
- MERV 9-12 filters are effective for trapping particles 1.0 to 3.0 microns in size
- Particles trapped include automobile emissions, legionella, humidifier dust, lead dust, welding fumes
MERV 13-16 filters really aren’t appropriate for most residential settings, as they can restrict airflow to a point it harms the HVAC system. You’ll find these filters in quality commercial settings, as well as hospital surgical suites and inpatient rooms.
- MERV 13-16 filters can trap particles 0.3 to 1.0 microns in size
- They can trap all bacteria, sneeze particles, and most tobacco smoke
MERV 17-20 filters are used in critical environments such as cleanrooms, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and handling radioactive or carcinogenic materials. They’re extremely effective for trapping particles under .3 microns in size, such as viruses and combustion smoke.
If you’re having trouble selecting the right MERV-rated filter for your Cincinnati home or business, contact Nelson Comfort today! We’re happy to help you find the best fit for your HVAC systems and air quality concerns.