There are many different ratings out there to help designate types of information. For example, a restaurant may get rated based on cleanliness standards, and a corporation may also get a rating that describes whether they are adhering to environmental standards. You might not have heard what is MERV rating, so let’s explore that for a second.
A MERV rating is a rating that is meant for air filters. An air filter MERV rating can help you compare air filters’ effectiveness, but the air filter should be maintained properly regardless of its rating. Let’s get deeper into the definition of what is MERV rating.
The Definition Of MERV
If we are going to discuss what is MERV rating, then we should learn what it stands for. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, and it designates what kind of particles and contaminants can pass through an air filter. The MERV rating will be a number from 1 through 16.
How exactly does the air filter MERV rating work? A MERV score of 1 to 4 means that less than 20% of “large particles” are captured. A MERV score of 5 to 7 means that around 20 to 69% of the particles are captured. If you have an air filter MERV rating of 17 to 20, it means that the air filter can capture even the smallest particles. Here, the “smallest particles” are smaller than .3 microns. The higher the MERV rating, the more effective the filter is at filtration.
The MERV scale was created by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, or ASHRAE. If the rating is high, or closer to 16, it means that particles are less likely to pass through the air filter. The air filter MERV rating varies, but the highest ratings can be found in buildings like hospitals. As you can imagine, hospitals have to be much more conscious about airborne contaminants in general.
It’s easy to figure out what is MERV rating and immediately think that a high MERV rating is a best-case scenario. The truth is that there are situations where this might not be ideal, either, since it can affect the airflow of your system. This can also affect the amount of pressure that is placed on your furnace or AC system.
An air filter MERV rating can be low, but it might mean that it lets more air go through the filter. While this might not sound good, the truth is that this could potentially help an HVAC operate smoothly in some cases. However, most people consider an air filter MERV rating of 16 to be the “best” rating, and it probably means that the filter will last for a long time.
Choosing a quality air filter is about more than understanding what is MERV rating, and you might require a different type of air filter depending on the size of your home, your home’s needs, and your lifestyle.