What Is a MERV Rating?

a woman asking a question

Many home and business owners have heard the term ‘MERV’ amidst air conditioning lingo, but few know what it really means. ‘MERV’ stands for minimum efficiency reporting value and is a measurement scale used to rate the effectiveness of air filters for air conditioning systems. And while knowing some AC jargon might not be on top of your to-do list, understanding the MERV rating system can help you obtain optimal comfort within your home.

What Are the Different MERV Ratings?

MERV ratings are typically grouped by their particle size, ranging from one to 20. Below are five groups of MERV ratings, including the characteristics of each group.

Rating 1 – 4: These filters are typically found in residential window air conditioning units. They are good for controlling pollen, dust mites, dust from sanding and spray paint, textile fibers and carpet fibers.

Rating 5 – 8: These filters are most commonly used in better residential spaces, general commercial spaces and industrial workspaces. These filters are good for controlling mold, spores, dust mites, pet dander and more.

Rating 9 – 12: Typically found in superior residential spaces, better commercial spaces, and hospital laboratories, these filters combat legionella, humidifier dust, flour, vehicle emission particulates and more.

Rating 13 – 16: Filters with a MERV rating between 13 and 16 are usually found in hospitals and general surgical centers. These filters fight against bacteria, cooking oil, smoke, face powder, paint pigments and more.

Rating 17 – 20: Filters with the highest MERV ratings are used in electronics and pharmaceutical manufacturing clean rooms. These filters combat viruses, dust from carbon, smoke and more.

Why Are MERV Ratings Important?

MERV ratings are important because they help you select the best filter for your unique space. Not all air conditioning systems are created equal, so each one will require a specific air filter and MERV rating to function as efficiently as possible. When you select the best MERV rating for your AC, you’ll benefit from increased filtration and home comfort.

Contact the Professionals at One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Largo

At One Hour Heating & Air Conditioning® of Largo, we want your home to be as comfortable as possible. That’s why we always emphasize the importance of air filters and MERV ratings. If you’re in need of a new air filter or have any questions about MERV ratings, give us a call today. One of our friendly team members is always available to help.