Importance of MERV Ratings

Importance of MERV Ratings

In this blog entry, the professional Chicago HVAC system cleaning service experts here at Air Flows Chicago will define and describe the importance of MERV ratings to air filtering systems.

What is the definition of MERV?

MERV is an acronym that stands for ‘Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value.’ It’s a standard that basically lets you know how well an air filter is operating according to its purpose. MERV ratings begin at 1, and increase up to 16. The higher the number of your MERV rating, the higher quality the air filter’s air filtering – its ability to capture even microscopic particles from the air – is, which reflects both it’s value, and it’s ability to ensure clean and healthy indoor air quality for you, your household, or your commercial property.

How exactly do MERV ratings affect air quality?

Usually residential or commercial interiors have a broad array of contaminants and particulates like allergens, bacteria, smoke, polen, dust, dust mites, mold spores, floating particulates from carpets and rugs, and even volatile organic compounds from regular cleaning products. A quality air filter with a high MERV rating – ideally between 7 and 12 – can filter out the majority of contaminants from your indoor air. Air filters with MERV ratings between 13-16 are usually only used in medical settings for complete air sanitation.

MERV Ratings and HVAC Systems

When you’re purchasing equipment for your HVAC or air duct system, pay close attention to how air filters will impact the performance of your ductwork. Any type of system with forced air needs a constant, unbroken, continued flow of air to operate at full efficiency. Air filters are meant to keep all air within your HVAC system clean. An air filter with a high MERV rating has very small holes / “pores” that filter out the air – which sometimes creates airflow resistance. The majority of residential HVAC systems are not built to work with that high a level of airflow resistance, and the highest MERV rated air filters (between 13-16) acan actually stress out your system’s blower fan, and cause potential damage. If you’re interested in an air filter with a high MERV rating, contact the professional air duct and HVAC system technicians here at Air Flows Chicago for expert assistance with all of your Chicago air filter installation needs, and expert guidance as to what MERV rated air filter will best suit the needs of your Chicago home or business ductwork.