What’s the Right MERV Rating for My Furnace Filter?
Furnace filters serve an important purpose. From the word “filter,” you can gather that something or many things are being prevented from going somewhere. But what?
The furnace filter keeps dirt, dust particles, soot, mold spores and other airborne allergens and bacteria from being transported and building up inside your home. The filter also protects your furnace by preventing the build of excess dirt and dust inside the unit. Replacing dirty filters regularly is important for your heating system and also for the general health and safety of you and your loved ones.
NOT ALL FILTERS ARE CREATED EQUAL
To help consumers discern among the various furnace filters, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency adopted the MERV rating or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, which was developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers, to assess a filter’s capability of blocking larger particles. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filter will be at capturing specific types of particulates.
Residential furnace filter MERV ratings usually range from 4 to 12. The lower the MERV rating, the lower the cost of the filter. However, filters with lower valued MERV ratings only capture particles such as dust, dust mites, pollen and cloth fibers. Whereas, a filter with a MERV rating of 12 would capture the above mentioned particles as well as bacteria like Legionella, auto emission particulates and other larger, more harmful dust contaminants from lead.
There are even higher ratings, but these are better suited for industrial or other specialized commercial environments. If you or a family suffers with specific health or allergy issues, you may want to choose a higher MERV rating of 11 or more. However, for most households an average MERV of 7 – 8 filter will work just fine.
Learn More About Your Furnace Filter Now
If you would like more information on furnace filters, indoor air quality or about any other heating system issue, your best choice for skilled and professional staff on the Western Slope is Climate Control Company.