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Choosing the right MERV rating

May 22, 2019

Choosing the right MERV rating

MERV Ratings Explained

A MERV rating, also known as the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value is a measurement of how effective an air filter is at capturing and holding harmful particles. A higher MERV rating means fewer dust particles and airborne contaminants will pass through the filter and provide you with the cleanest air to breathe. MERV ratings range from 1 to 20 and tell you how efficient the filter is at capturing and holding pollutants. It is a measure that can greatly help homeowners in the choice of which air filter is best to purchase.

MERV Rating 1-4: These filters only trap larger particles and do very little to rid your home’s air of harmful particles. Their mainly used to protect your HVAC system from larger particles.

MERV Rating 5-8: This is a mid-range quality filter that is sufficient for most homes. A MERV 8 will capture most pollutants, including household dust, mold spores, dust mites, and pollen.

MERV Rating 9-12: These air filters are typically pleated filters and are a great choice if you or your family suffers with allergies or asthma. In addition to everything a MERV 8 filter does, these air filters capture up to 95% of airborne contaminants such as pet dander, smoke, and auto emissions.

MERV Rating 13-16: Used primarily in hospitals and other applications where better filtration is necessary. These air filters can trap almost all (up to 98%) airborne contaminants, such as bacteria and fine particles from cough & sneezes. recommends an air filter with a MERV rating between 8 and 11. For people with pets or sensitivity to odors, we recommend using our carbon odor block filters.


Air Flow

You may think it would be best to get the highest MERV rating you can find, but that’s not case. A clean air filter that is too restrictive for your system (Even a dirty filter that is full of dust and other contaminants) can damage your system due to the restriction of air flow.


Brand Specific Ratings

APR stands for Accumulair Performance Rating. This rating has been established by the manufacturer of the Accumulair Filters. This rating exists to demonstrate the different levels of efficiency throughout the Accumulair filter line. Generally speaking, the higher the APR, the better the filter performs in capturing small airborne particles. This rating system is an internal rating system and applies to Accumulair filters only.

The MPR or Micro-particle Performance Rating is a measure that was exclusively created by the manufacturer 3M to rank their own filters. They pride themselves in their filters’ ability to catch the finest of the airborne particles and this measure is helpful in comparing one model of filter by 3M to another.

Similarly, the FPR or Filter Performance Rating is exclusive to the Home Depot filters. It was developed by the Home Depot and is based on separate lab results that compare the different MERV ratings. It, however, doesn’t correlate to the MERV ratings.

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