MERV is the acronym for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values. It’s a rating used to report how well a filter can capture particles between 0.3 and 10 microns in length. Here’s what you need to know about MERV when you’re purchasing air filters for your HVAC system in Annapolis, MD, and why these ratings are important.

What Do MERV Ratings Mean?

MERV ratings run from 1 to 16, and the higher the number, the more efficient the filtration. Filters with a MERV rating of 1–4 are low-end filters that can remove large airborne particles that could damage your HVAC system. Most residential HVAC systems do fine with filters with a MERV rating of 5–8.

MERV and Its Effect on Allergies

An air filter with a MERV rating of 5–8 will remove most dust mites and pollen in residential use. However, if you have allergies or other indoor air quality concerns, you should consider a filter with a MERV rating of 11 or higher because it traps more particles. While higher MERV-rated filters do remove more particles from the air, you must check them regularly to make sure there’s still proper airflow to your system.

How Do You Choose an Air Filter?

It’s important to choose the air filter with the MERV rating your system’s manufacturer recommends. Choosing one that restricts too much airflow can harm your system.

Most modern units can handle a filter with a MERV rating up to 12. However, you should still check with your service technician to make sure you use the right filter for your system.

It’s also important to check your air filter each month during high-use periods and change it when it’s dirty. Regular filter changes and professional preventive maintenance help prolong the useful lifespan of your HVAC equipment. Contact us at Coastal Heating & Air Conditioning Co., Inc. to schedule your next maintenance appointment for your Annapolis, MD, home.

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