Any discussion of air filters will typically include a discussion of the filters’ MERV filter ratings. If you are in search of air filters, you may have noticed that various filters have been assigned a number, but you aren’t exactly sure what the rating means.
What Is A MERV Filter Rating?
First and foremost, MERV stands for ‘ Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value.’ This is all technical speak, but the rating tells users how effectively the filter traps small particles.
Ratings are on a scale of 1 to 20, with the higher rating indicating that the filter traps a higher amount of smaller particles. Depending upon the environment, a filter capable of trapping small particles like viruses may be required.
The MERV Rating:
1-4 MERV Rating
A filter with MERV filter ratings between one and four will be able to filter large particles like pollen, dust mites, and sanding dust, to name a few. A filter with this rating would be suited for residential areas that don’t have a lot of traffic.
5-8 MERV Rating
Filters with ratings between 5 and 8 will offer a higher level of filtration, capable of filtering out mold and hairspray. These ratings would be best suited for commercial buildings and the average household.
9-12 MERV Rating
Filters with ratings at this level begin to offer fairly high levels of filtration and are designed for more specific environments where a certain level of air quality is expected.
At this level, air filters are capable of filtering out lead dust, auto emissions, and even welding fumes, making them suitable for some industrial settings as well as some healthcare and hospital settings too.
Once a filter has been assigned a rating between 13 and 16, it can filter out bacteria and tobacco smoke, making them well-suited for surgical suites.
17-20 MERV Rating
Filters with a rating between 17 and 20 can filter air particles that are smaller than 0.3 microns. Both HEPA filters and ULPA filters are such examples.
At this level of filtration, filters can remove viruses and other small particles, making them ideal for environments where the highest level of filtration is required. Examples include labs and environments where carcinogens or radioactive materials are present.
APC Filtration has been working in air filter design, engineering, manufacturing, and testing for industrial, commercial, and household equipment for over 35 years. We are a fully-certified manufacturer, and develop filters to protect people across all industries Contact us for more information.