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MERV Filtration 101

If you’ve ever looked at filters and wondered why this Merv guy is so important, this information is for you!

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This universal measurement is used to report a filter’s ability to capture larger particles between 0.3 and 10 microns. In case that’s hard to picture, most household dust is roughly 0.3 microns and mold spores are roughly 10 microns. In a nutshell, the higher the MERV rating a filter has, the better it is at capturing airborne particles present in your home.

Is the highest MERV rating the best for my home? Always consult your HVAC contractor if you are looking to replace your existing furnace filter with a higher MERV filter. The reason is that your HVAC system is designed to operate with a specific air pressure. By restricting the air flow with a high MERV filter, you may throw off the air pressure balance and cause issues with the system’s overall operation.

What is the highest grade of filter available? MERV 16 is the highest available filtration rating, but homeowners can also explore the option of installing a HEPA filter. HEPA (High Efficiency Particulate Air) filters are a pleated mechanical air filter. This type of special filter can theoretically remove at least 99.97% of dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, and any airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns. If this is an option you would like to explore for your home, be sure to reach out to your contractor to explore all the options available!

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