When it comes to air filtration, the MERV rating is an important factor to consider. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, and it is a measure of how effective a filter is at capturing particles from the air. A higher MERV rating means that the filter is more effective at capturing smaller particles, such as pollen, dust mites, sawdust, mold spores, and lint. The most common MERV ratings range from 1 to 16, with 1 being the least effective and 16 being the most effective.
A MERV 13 filter is considered to be hospital-level air quality, so it is unlikely that your home needs more than that. However, it is important to note that filters with higher MERV ratings can reduce airflow in your HVAC system. This can be an issue because the cold coil inside your air conditioner has a specific preferred operating temperature that is based on a certain amount of hot air flowing through it. If the airflow is reduced too much, the cold coil can freeze and turn into an ice ball, which will restrict airflow completely.
This can lead to more expensive problems in the condenser coil outside. It is also important to consider other factors when choosing an air filter, such as the size of the filter and the type of fan motor in your HVAC system. The pressure drops associated with MERV 13 filters should also be taken into account. New guidelines from ASHRAE, CDC and OSHA recommend upgrading building ventilation filtration to MERV 13 to improve indoor air quality (IAQ) and reduce exposure to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.If you want to use pleated filters and higher MERV filters, the only sure way to do this is to have a 5 to 6 inch multimedia filter installed by a professional.
In general, filters with higher MERV values capture higher percentages of particles, as well as smaller particles. A filter with a higher MERV rating will reduce airflow but will also provide better air quality through proper filtration. Knowing this information can help you make an informed decision about which filter is best for your home. The Merv 16 would be the best option for filtering out 95% of contaminants such as pollen, dust mites, sawdust, mold spores and lint from the air.
There's even a YouTube video that shows how to make your own N95 mask with a Merv 16 filter! In conclusion, while a MERV 13 filter can reduce airflow in your HVAC system, it can also provide better air quality through proper filtration. It is important to consider other factors when choosing an air filter, such as the size of the filter and the type of fan motor in your HVAC system. Knowing this information can help you make an informed decision about which filter is best for your home.