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What are MERV Ratings?

Posted on August 20, 2014
by Susana Escamilla

merv rating example

When you live in an apartment complex you don’t really have to worry about different areas that make your building run like the furnace or a water heater. Another system that is important is your HVAC system. When you own your own property or home, regular maintenance is important on your HVAC system is important to avoid issues in the future. While doing your research on components of your HVAC system you might have come across a term called, MERV Ratings. MERV stands for Minimum Reporting Value. This simply means how effective is your air filter. Filters are tested to trap pollen, dust, dust, pet dander and other particles.

The MERV rating ranges from 1-20. If the rating is higher that means that these type of particles and other contaminants can pass through it and indicates higher filtering performance. Filters with higher MERV ratings should be changed frequently to avoid your system to work inefficiently because of restricting air flow through the system. Each building has different types of MERV ratings. Below are examples of the ratings of different locations and their value on the MERV Rating Chart:

  • Residential Homes:1-4 Controls pollen, dust mites, sanding dust, textile fibers, carpet fibers.
  • Commercial Buildings/Industrial Workplace: 5-8 Controls Cement Dust, Mold Spores, Dusting Aids, 3.0-10.0 pm Particle Size.
  • Better Commercial Buildings/Hospital Laboratories: 9-12 Welding Fumes, Auto Emissions, Lead Dust, 1.0-3.0 pm Particle Size
  • Smoking Lunges/Hospital Inpatient Care/General Surgery: 13-16 Most Tobacco Smoke, All Bacteria, .30-1.0pm Particle Size
  • Carcinogenic Materials/ Radioactive Materials/Cleanrooms/Pharmaceutical: 17-20 All Combustion Smoke, Carbon Dust, 0.30pm Particle Size.

It is important to choose a filter that your unit will allow for maximum air flow.Changing your filters regularly and using the most efficient filter will allow to control the air quality in your environment and maximize the lifetime of your HVAC system.  If you need assistance in indoor air quality issues you may contact a professional company like AirTek. AirTek has over 25 years of experience, and our technicians are certified by the National Air Duct Cleaning Association to ensure your air ducts, coils, vents and other equipment meet national health and safety standards

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