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MERV Ratings Should Be Printed on Most Air Filter Packaging, but What if They Aren’t?

  • January 2014
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Changing air filters is part of routine maintenance. It’s important for increasing HVAC efficiency and extending equipment longevity. Changing your filter every month will go a long way toward improving the indoor air quality in your Griffith area home. Most homes require filters with MERV ratings between 7 and 12. But what do you do if the MERV ratings aren’t printed on air filter labels?

What to Do if MERV Ratings Aren’t Available

If the filter doesn’t have the MERV ratings printed on the box, don’t buy it. MERV is the only filter rating certified by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). You may see other ratings listed, such as FPR, but these are created by filter manufacturer and aren’t recognized by ASHRAE. If you’re having problems finding filters with bona fide MERV ratings, contact a local HVAC contractor or look online.

MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value. These values range from 1 to 20. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filter is at removing particulate matter ranging from .3 to 20 microns in size. Typically, only hospitals and surgery centers use filters with ratings of 13 and higher. On one hand, the higher the MERV rating, the better. That being said, smaller holes means less airflow, which can compromise HVAC efficiency and function.

If your family is sensitive to allergens, talk to your HVAC contractor about the highest MERV rating that will work well with your HVAC system, in addition to other air cleaning options that may be of greater benefit.

Keep in mind that the higher the MERV rating, the more expensive the filter will be. Start with a MERV of 8 or so and see what you think. If allergies are still a problem, go up to a 9 the next time. If you’ve reached a 12 and allergies are still a problem, consider installing an additional air purification system.

Contact Meyer’s to discuss the best MERV ratings and air cleaning options for your Griffith home.