Using the right filter could be the difference between a healthy family and one that experiences health issues. While there are a lot of filters on the market, and a lot of factors to take into consideration, one thing you need to look at is the MERV rating. These ratings range from good to better to best, but how do you know which is right for your home and family? The following are some things to consider.
The 3 Common MERV Filters
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. There are ratings ranging from 1 to 20, but the most commonly used filters in residences are 8, 11, and 13. By the MERV rating, you can understand how well each particular filter does at keeping contaminants out of your home. The greater the number, the better job it does, and need varies from home to home. For one family, an 8 might do the job just fine, while another might require a 13 because of their specific circumstances.
How Pressure Drop Relates to Filters
Anything that gets between your vents and your HVAC system is going to cause air resistance. While you need those filters, they are one of the causes of air resistance. This is called pressure drop. As you look at different filters, you want one with a lower pressure drop, but not so low that it won’t work efficiently. A good filter with a higher MERV rating is going to cause pressure drop, so don’t shy away just because it’s slightly higher.
A MERV 8 Rating is Basic
If you live in an area that has relatively low air pollution, you keep your home clean, and you don’t have any pets or allergies, a MERV 8 rating might be just right for your air filter. This rating will keep bacteria, dust, dust mites, mold, and pollen out of your air. Because the filter isn’t as tight, the pressure drop will generally be pretty low. MERV 8 filters would be classified as a “good” option for your home.
A MERV 11 Rating is More Significant
Going up a level to a MERV 11 rating, you’re going to filter out everything the 8 filters, in addition to the pet dander floating around your home. If you’ve got pets or mild allergies, this could be the right filter for you. The pressure drop is slightly higher, but that’s to be expected considering it filters more, and it’s still not high enough to be a concern. MERV 11 filters would be considered a “better” option when it comes to complete filtration for your home.
A MERV 13 Rating is Top Quality
A MERV 13 filter will rid your home of everything the 11 filters, but also gets rid of smoke, smog, cooking oils, and virus carriers, making this a top-quality filter. If you live in an area with a high level of air pollution, you’d want to use a filter with a MERV 13 rating. It’s also an acceptable option for families with multiple pets or individuals who have severe allergies. You’ll see a higher pressure drop with a MERV 13 filter, but again, it’s nothing to be concerned about. You might consider a filter with a MERV 13 rating your “best” option.
What Will You Choose?
As you can see, there are many factors at play when you’re choosing a filter for your HVAC system. Take some time to consider your specific circumstances and call Crockett Filter Club at 844-401-4604 with any questions.
Image Credit: Serenethos/Shutterstock