As part of their effort to improve indoor air quality, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers designed a system for rating air filter efficiency. The system is called MERV, and stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. If you wish to improve air quality in your Clearwater home, understanding this rating is key.
Every air filter is capable of sifting out airborne particles within a specific size range. Some do the job better than others and are able to sift out finer particles, and therefore get a higher rating. Ratings run from 1-20. Filters that are MERV 15 or higher are usually only found in environments such as pharmaceutical and electronics cleanrooms, places that demand extreme filtering of particles such as viruses and carbon dust.
The following is a breakdown of MERV ranges and their filtration capability.
1 – 4: Any product with a rating in this range is capable of very basic filtration. From textile/carpet fibers and spray paint dust on the lower end, to pollen and dust mites on the higher end.
5 – 8: Filters on the higher end of this range are ideal for most households. As a filter approaches a rating of 7, it begins to handle particles the size of mold spores and hairspray fumes effectively. Most homeowners need not be concerned with particles smaller than these.
9 – 12: Auto emissions and milled flour contain similar sized particles, and so are best disposed of with a 10 MERV-rated filter or higher. These filters work well for hospital labs and auto mechanic shops. As you approach ratings of 11 and 12, you find filters that are suited to good commercial buildings and superior residential housing.
13 – 14: An air filter with a MERV rating of 14 can handle the spray from a sneeze as easily as most kinds of tobacco smoke. Household A/Cs rarely have this kind of filter, as most are incapable of handling the stress caused by reduced airflow.
For more information on air filters and quality, contact the pros at Cox Air Conditioning & Heating.