Did you know that not all furnace filters are created equal?  That’s right, there is a rating system in place that is used to show the efficiency of the filter. One of the most common used rating system is often referred to as a MERV rating.

What does a MERV Rating Mean?

Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV for short is a filter rating system to standardize and simplify filter efficiency ratings for the public. The higher the MERV rating, the higher the efficiency of the air filter.  For example, a MERV 13 filter will remove smaller particles from the air than an MERV 8 (or lower) filter. This gives the consumer the ability to compare one filter to another. 

A MERV Rating Best Fits Your Needs

There are many factors to consider when choosing an air filter; choose one that will best fit the needs of your family and your HVAC system. For example: is there anyone living in the home with asthma, allergies, pets, or any smokers? 

A filter with a MERV 8 rating is considered a good standard filter.  A MERV 8 filter covers things like pollen, dust/lint, dust mites, debris and pet dander.

MERV 8 MERV 13
Pollen Pollen
Dust/Lint Dust/Lint
Dust Mites Dust Mites
Debris Debris
Pet Dander Pet Dander
  Mold Spores
  Car Fumes
  Smog
  Tobacco/Smoke
  Bacteria
  Virus
  Microscopic Allergens
  House Hold Odors

If you or someone in your household is more sensitive when it comes to air quality due to having asthma or allergies; you may want to consider choosing a filter with a higher rating such as a MERV 13.

Important to Remember

If you choose to use a higher MERV rated filter; it’s important that you still change it regularly.  Just because it has a higher rating does not mean you change it less often.  Change it at least every three months to help avoid restricted airflow.  Restricted airflow can affect the efficiency of your HVAC system and possibly damage it.