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MERV Ratings Profile:

Understanding the MERV Ratings System

Which air filter fits your needs is a very pertinent question that the MERV rating system can answer. If you&rsquo re unfamiliar with heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems, learning about the MERV rating system can prove to be beneficial.

What does MERV stand for?

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. In short, this is comparing how effective a filter is in relation to its use. The system was established in 1987 by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

What is the MERV Ratings System?

The MERV Ratings System is the method air filters are graded by. The range of the ratings goes from 1 to 20. The higher the number on the rating, the fewer contaminants can travel through. The MERV system is the industry standard although there are other rating systems.

All FiltersFast.com  Brand air filters use the MERV rating system, and we sell the most recommended MERVs for residential use: MERV 8, MERV 11, and MERV13.

What is the difference between MERV, MPR, and FPR?

First, let us  start with the meaning of the acronyms. You already know that MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. MPR stands for Microparticle Performance Rating, and FPR stands for Filter Performance Rating. While MERV ratings are from 1 -  20, MPRs are from 100  -  2800, and FPRs are from 4 -  10.

MPR was developed by 3M which is the company that makes Filtrete air filters, while FPR was produced by Home Depot. FPR has a comparable structure to the MERV system, while MPR  ratings indicate a filter&rsquo s ability to screen particles from 0.3 -  1 micron. The goal of all these rating systems is to provide you with a guide for purchasing the correct filtration level that fits your needs.

Who is ASHRAE?

Founded in 1894 during a meeting of engineers in New York City, ASHRAE is an association dedicated to the advancement of heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration design and production. They meet annually to map out the industry  course.

Which MERV rating should I use?

It is important to remember that the higher the MERV rating, the less particles will be able to pass through.   A Furnace filter with a MERV rating 1 -  4, will capture 80% of airborne particles as tiny as 10 microns. They must be replaced more frequently and are cheaper in quality, usually consisting of fiberglass within a cardboard frame. This will not provide an adequate level of filtration if you are hoping to filter out mold or spores.

The next MERV range is from 5 -  8, filtering out particles as little as 3.0 microns. It is recommended that you replace these filters at least once every 3 months. If you have allergy issues, MERV 8 is the minimum level you should consider.

MERV range 9 -  13 can capture up to 95% of airborne particles including pollen, spores, mold, and other contaminants as small as 1.0 microns. They are high-quality, deep pleated filters which make them efficient for most homes and commercial buildings.

Any MERV range that is higher than 13 is not meant for residential use. Usage in a residential setting could end up ruining your HVAC system. MERV 16 air filters are common in hospitals, covering capturing 98% of airborne allergens including bacteria and viruses, as tiny as 0.3 microns. For more detailed information on choosing your MERV level, please check out this blog.
FiltersFast.com is your one-stop resource for all things filtration. We carry top brand filters like AprilAire, Carrier, Honeywell, Lennox, and our own FiltersFast.com Brand, as well as 3M  Filtrete air filters. For your convenience, you can sign up for the Home Filter  Club, which allows you to choose how often you need replacement filters and then leave the rest up to us!