What MERV Furnace Filter Should I Buy

Determining the proper MERV grade for your furnace filter is very tough. Choosing the correct furnace filter is important for combining indoor air quality with the capabilities of your HVAC system. Obtaining filters with the appropriate

MERV ratings are critical to ensure that your air is properly cleansed without working too hard on your HVAC system. There are various kinds of filters to consider, and it may be difficult to choose the one that best meets your demands. The greater the MERV rating, the better the filter captures these particles from the air.

About MERV Rating

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. In 1987, The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) developed a measuring method. The MERV scale represents a filter’s lowest potential efficiency in removing pollutants ranging in size between 0.3 to 10 microns. The rating specifies the size of the particles that the air purifier is designed to catch. The higher the number, between 1 and 20, the greater the filter captures tiny particles.

The MERV rating of your filter shows you, on a scale of 1-16, how successfully it catches microscopic particles that you don’t want to flow through your house. A MERV rating is crucial because it allows you to evaluate the efficacy of an air filter and select the best one for your specific needs. Filters with MERV ratings of 8-13 are typically higher-end filters for household or business use. MERV values greater than 16 are often employed in specialized commercial environments, such as hospitals, where air filtering is vital.

Before purchasing greater efficiency air filters, remember that bigger isn’t necessarily better. Higher MERV-rated filters typically eliminate more dangerous particles from your house, but they may degrade the quality of the air you consume. These filters will also need to be changed more often than filters with lower MERV ratings. Check to see whether your system has a maximum MERV rating. The incorrect air filter might make your furnace work even harder and increase the probability of it collapsing.

What MERV Furnace Filter Should I Buy

A MERV rating is crucial because it allows you to evaluate the efficacy of an air filter and select the best one for your specific needs. The rating indicates the worst-case scenario for an air filter, giving you a decent sense of how it will function.

MERV rating

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  • MERV rating 1 to 4: MERV 1–4 are commonly used as Pre-Filters in domestic furnace filters, business buildings, and window AC units. These filters collect particles as small as 10.0 microns, such as pollen, house dust, and carpet fibers.
  • MERV rating 5 to 8: Filters with a MERV grade of 5 to 8 are better pre-filters utilized in commercial properties, industrial environments, higher residential structures, and paint booth inlets. It filters particles ranging in size from 3.0 to 10.0 microns.
  • MERV rating 9 to 12: Filters with MERV ratings of 9 to 12 are often used in business and residential facilities that require above-average quality of the air, as well as hospital labs. It filters particles ranging in size from 1.0 to 3.0 microns.
  • MERV rating 13 to 16: MERV ratings 13–16 are frequently used only for commercial and residential buildings which require excellent air purification, such as general surgical centers, intensive care facilities, smoking lounges, and so on. All of the pollutants specified for MERV 1-12 above would be controlled. It filters particles ranging in size from 0.3 to 1.0 microns.
  • MERV rating 17 to 20: This is mostly utilized in clean rooms, for radioactivity and hazardous compounds, and in pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities. It can perfectly capture carbon dust, virus transmission, radon progeny, burning smoke, hazardous materials, orthopedic surgical rooms, and tiny allergens. It can filter particles as small as 0.30 microns.

As previously said, the solution is found in a few things. Each air filter has advantages and disadvantages, but both MERV 8 and MERV 11 air filters are suitable for home usage. Custom Filters Direct is a trusted online supplier of MERV 8, 11, and 13 filters for homes and businesses. If you have allergies, asthma, or other respiratory disorders, you should use a filter with a MERV rating of 11 or 13.


Filter technology has grown exponentially over the years. MERV ratings are intended to assist us in determining the most effective and efficient air filtration options, such as heating and cooling systems. Choosing the right furnace filter balances indoor air quality and the functionality of the HVAC system. The correct MERV-rated filter is essential to properly filter the air without overloading the HVAC system.