Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Need A New Air Filter? Look Up MERV When You Go Out Shopping

Air quality is a real problem in many homes. According to studies, indoor environments can contain substantially more pollution than outdoor air, and prolonged exposure to low-quality indoor air can lead to serious and chronic health and respiratory problems. Air filters form an important part of your defense against indoor air pollutants.

When you’re shopping for air filters, you’ll come across a measurement known as a MERV rating. “MERV” stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, and is a way of quantifying the relative effectiveness of a given air filter at removing pollutants of various sizes. The higher a given air filter’s MERV rating, the more effective it is.

Here is a basic guide to MERV ratings for air filters:

  • MERV 1 to 4: These units have an average dust spot efficiency of less than 20 percent and remove particles that are 10 microns or larger. They are best used for surface and equipment protection and light residential applications in low-pollution indoor environments.
  • MERV 5 to 8: These air filters have average dust spot efficiencies between 20 and 35 percent and can trap particles as small as 3 microns in diameter. These are common in household use.
  • MERV 9 to 12: Moving into the higher efficiency scale, units with MERV ratings between 9 and 12 are up to 75 percent effective at removing dust and eliminate particles as small as 1 micron. (On repeated passes through the system, these get nearly all of the particulates.)
  • MERV 13 to 16: Typically used in indoor environments with secondhand smoke as well as hospitals and clinical settings, these air filters are 80 to 95 percent effective at eliminating dust and eliminate particles as small as 0.3 microns in diameter.
  • MERV 17 to 20: The most efficient filters on the market have dust spot efficiencies at high at 99.999 percent and eliminate pollutants with diameters of less than 0.3 microns. However, these have other issues, including making it difficult for regular household blowers to move air through the filters. As a result, these are not common in household use.

If you have any questions about these purification technologies, don’t hesitate to contact the experts at Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company.Count on us.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information, click here to download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Hansberger Refrigeration & Electric Co services the Yuma area in Arizona. To get started, check out our website.