When it comes to air filters, the MERV rating is an important factor to consider. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and it is used to measure the effectiveness of an air filter in trapping particles of different sizes. A filter with a MERV rating between 5 and 8 can trap particles with a size of 3, 0-10, or 0 microns, but are more efficient in doing so. A MERV 5 filter will trap up to 34%, a MERV 6 will stop 35-49%, a MERV 7 will prevent up to 69%, and a MERV 8 will capture up to 85% of the particles.
These filters are effective in controlling mold spores, hairspray and dust, and are applicable to most commercial buildings, residences, industrial workplaces and paint booths. When it comes to finer particles, a MERV 8 filter is 90 percent efficient on particles 3 to 10 microns in size. A MERV 11 air filter has a higher efficiency rating and can capture finer particles and remove more pollutants from the air. However, if the MERV 11 is too tall for your needs, you can opt for a filter with a MERV rating between 1 and 6 which can remove particles between 0.3 and 10 microns with an efficiency of 20%.
Meanwhile, air filters rated MERV 14 or higher are designed for commercial HVAC systems that can handle the thicker filter material. It is important to note that using an air filter with a MERV rating that is too high can damage the compressor, heat exchanger and air conditioner coil. Therefore, it is important to choose the most appropriate one for your particular needs. A MERV 8 air filter is efficient at trapping most of the interior particles that could weaken people with asthma and allergies, or even cause long-term respiratory problems.
Conversely, a high MERV rating indicates that the filter does a good job of removing particles from the air. MERV 8 air filters are very common because they are a fairly complete option, so you might think they have a great price but poor performance. However, it is important to remember that using an air filter with a MERV rating that is too low or too high can be detrimental to your health and your HVAC system. Therefore, it is important to choose the right one for your needs.