What is a MERV rating, and Why Does It Matter?

As a homeowner on the Outer Banks, North Carolina, the air quality in your home is likely important to you. After all, this is the air that your family breathes, and you know that polluted air can affect your overall health. However, choosing an air filter can be a complicated process. Understanding what a MERV rating is can make it easier for you to protect your family from harmful pollutants.

What is a MERV Rating?

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. Essentially, it’s a standardized way to measure the effectiveness of your air filter. A higher MERV rating on an air filter means that the filtration is finer or the holes in the filter are smaller. As a result, fewer particles get through, which means cleaner air for you and your family. A lower MERV rating means less filtration and more particles flowing through your air ducts.

MERV ratings can range anywhere from 1-20. Filters created for home use usually range from 1-13. Those created for institutional settings like hospitals range from 14-20. The most effective filters for your home are usually rated at 8, 11 and 13.

Why Does MERV Matter?

When you’re selecting an air filter for your HVAC system, MERV should be your most important factor. Not only do filters with higher MERV ratings improve the air quality in your home, but they also need to be changed less often than those with lower MERV ratings.

Furthermore, if someone in your family suffers from allergies or asthma, a higher MERV rating might be necessary to help keep them safe from pollutants and hidden toxins in the air. This is why checking MERV ratings on your air filters is a crucial part of maintaining your HVAC system.

Do you need help with HVAC maintenance or have questions about MERV ratings and air quality? Call North Beach Services Heating and Cooling at (252) 429-5325. We’ll improve your indoor air quality right away.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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