What is the Optimal Air Filter Level for Your Home?

In general, a MERV rating between 6 and 13 is the best option for most households. This range provides a great balance between air filtration, airflow, and affordability. If you choose an air filter with a MERV 13 rating, it can last up to six months before needing to be replaced. For oven filters, our recommendation is a MERV rating of 6 to 8, which will give you maximum oven efficiency and home comfort.

These filters will capture a large portion of the particulates in the air and improve indoor air quality without significantly increasing energy costs. For instance, if an air filter can capture at least 20% of E1, 65% of E2, and 85% of E3 particles, it will receive the MERV 11 rating. As long as you have an air filter installed in the air return system, there is no way to prevent a pressure drop. A higher MERV rating may mean slightly more restricted airflow; however, most current HVAC systems are capable of handling a MERV 11 air filter without overloading. The MERV, also known as the minimum efficiency reporting value, is a system used to evaluate the efficiency of an air filter based on its effectiveness in trapping particles of different sizes.

ASHRAE standard 52.2 describes methods and procedures for evaluating the performance of air filters based on particle size. There is no difference between an oven and an air conditioner filter and the terms are often used interchangeably. It is necessary to change the air filter to maintain the health and efficiency of your home's air conditioning system. The MERV rating for an air filter is a scale from 1 to 16 that describes the minimum efficiency of the air filter. This means that 81.5% of the dust particles introduced into the MERV filter were successfully filtered from the air.

Newer units shouldn't have airflow problems with higher MERV ratings, although older models can work harder with a MERV 13 filter installed than when they originally had a MERV 6 filter in the air intake. Other benefits of MERV 13 air filters are that they can filter smoke, airborne viruses, smog, and other pollutants. The reason why pressure drop is so low for a fiberglass filter is because it is extremely porous and, as such, is not effective for filtering. To ensure optimal performance from your home's HVAC system and maintain good indoor air quality, it is important to select an appropriate MERV rating for your air filter.

Ashleigh Yballe
Ashleigh Yballe

Amateur internet ninja. Hipster-friendly tv fanatic. General pop culture buff. Subtly charming beer buff. Wannabe burrito evangelist. Award-winning internet practitioner.