When it comes to air filtration, the MERV rating is an important factor to consider. A filter with a MERV rating of around 10 to 12 is usually enough to remove most allergy-causing particles from your home's air. The MERV rating you choose between 7 and 13 depends on the level of filtration you need. If your family has allergies or asthma, a higher MERV score will be beneficial.
On the other hand, if your family doesn't have any respiratory issues, a lower filter, such as a 7, will save you some money on your energy bill. In most cases, a MERV 11 air filter is suitable for residential use. Generally speaking, anything under a MERV 13 air filter should provide very efficient air purification in a home without affecting airflow. Meanwhile, air filters with a MERV rating of 14 or higher are designed for commercial HVAC systems that can handle the coarsest filter material. While the highest MERV ratings are the most effective for air quality, they can damage your HVAC system. A MERV rating of 1 to 6 is the lowest range of MERV ratings, but that doesn't mean you should discard a filter with a rating in this range.
With the lowest MERV rating (1-), the filter will still capture pollen, dust mites, cockroach debris, sanding dust, spray paint dust, textile fibers and carpet fibers. These filters are slightly more restrictive than MERV 1-4 filters and have the ability to trap mold spores and some pet dander along with dust and pollen. Air filters with higher MERV ratings may filter more, but the thickness of the filter material may restrict airflow. If you use a higher MERV rating that traps more particles, you may need to change your filter more often. For example, if you have someone in your household who suffers from allergies, you may want a higher MERV rating.
However, if you use a Merv 8 filter, it is not designed to trap the smallest particles that fall into the E1 category, such as pet dander. It is best to adhere to the oven manufacturer's recommendations or consult an HVAC professional to determine exactly which MERV rating is best for your specific system. Pleated filters that are Merv 8 to 13 can effectively filter small particles and lower pressure drop (this is the closest thing you can find to MerVana). Meanwhile, air filters with a MERV rating of 14 or higher are designed for commercial HVAC systems that can handle the coarsest filter material. You are now equipped with all the information you need to monitor your air filter and change it regularly with the right MERV value for your home and family. With this knowledge in hand, you can make sure that your family is breathing clean air while also saving money on energy bills.