What is a MERV Rating?

January 7, 2019

If you’re like most people you know there are some technical aspects surrounding the HVAC systems in your home that are better left to the professionals, but you might have a lingering feeling that there are some terms you really should know more about to help you get the most you can from your furnace or air conditioner. The MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating is an industry standard system used to measure the effectiveness of air conditioner and furnace filters. These filters are an important part of your indoor air quality in both warm or cool seasons, so it’s a good idea for you to know something about them. For residential and commercial concerns MERV ratings generally fall between 8 and 16 with anything above 16 designed for very specialized uses like hospitals. That said, there several categories the average homeowner needs to concern themselves with. The general consensus is that filters deemed to be quality are rated at least MERV 8. Although there are a variety of filters for sale that are rated as low as MERV 1, anything rated from 8 to 16 is considered to be acceptable for household use. During the testing process, particles from pet dander and dust as well as other particles like tobacco smoke are added in a controlled environment and the measurements are taken in units called microns. Filters that come in between the MERV 8 to 16 range will collect these particles as small as .3 of a micron. Using filters with higher ratings means you’ll need to replace them according to manufacturer’s instructions, as if they are not cleaned when dirty they can obstruct air flow and hamper a furnace or air conditioner’s capabilities. Oosterveld Heating and Air Conditioning is a family owned and operated business servicing Guelph and the surrounding areas. Call today!

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