Categories: Real Estate Resource

MERV Ratings and How to Use Them

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, and every furnace filter has a MERV rating that has been established through a number of tests. The resulting rating determines how efficient the furnace filter is in capturing various sizes of particles that pass through it when it’s turned on. The rating scale goes from 1 (least efficient) up to 16 (most efficient), but that doesn’t necessarily imply that all homes absolutely need a furnace filter with the MERV rating of 16. Clean and healthy air can be provided by filters with a rating as low as 6.

How MERV Rating Are Established
There are two main tests that establish the MERV rating of a furnace filter: The Dust Spot Efficiency Test and The Arrestance Test. In the first test, the filter is measured through means of its ability to remove dust particles from the air, and the second test measures its ability to remove synthetic particles from the air. These two tests can thus demonstrate whether or not the filter can remove any type of particle from the air of a home. Filters with high ratings have been proven to be able to remove as much as 90% of particles detected in the air, both atmospheric dust and injected synthetics.

How To Choose a Filter Depending on Its MERV Rating
As previously mentioned, not all homes will need a furnace filter with a MERV rating of 16. These can be quite expensive, are generally designed for people suffering from severe allergies. It’s important to keep in mind that a filter’s price is directly proportional with its rating. Therefore, the cheapest will be the ones with a low rating, and the most expensive the ones with a high rating. Naturally, this makes sense, because low ratings mean poor quality, while high ratings mean superior quality, so you pay for what you get.

Usually, the needs of most families and households are covered by furnaces with 6, 8, 11 or 13 rating points. If you’re unsure what level of furnace filter you need to buy for your home, an important step in deciding is closely analyzing your and your family’s medical history. If anyone in your home suffers from allergies, it’s best to buy a filter with a high rating, perhaps a 13 (with the condition of the allergies not being too severe). If you and everyone else you share your home with are perfectly healthy, then a 6 or an 8 will suffice. All in all, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you have to put your needs (and those of your loved ones) first.

Mike Wheatley

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at mike@realtybiznews.com.

Recent Posts

Sales of new homes drop by double-digits

New home buyers are being deterred by higher prices, and that became readily apparent in…

41 mins ago

15 Ways Real Estate Agents Can Increase Their Organic Traffic

"Cultivate visibility because attention is currency," said author Chris Brogan. This couldn't be more true when…

2 hours ago

ARMs offer tempting mortgage savings, but there’s a risk

A new study from Redfin shows that homebuyers could save an average of $260 per…

1 day ago

AgentStory Launches, Providing Consumers Unprecedented Transparency on Real Estate Agent Performance

A Miami-based real estate technology startup is providing new transparency in the process of selecting…

2 days ago

What’s the difference between a Home Equity Loan, HELOC, and Credit Cards

A Home Equity Loan and a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) are not the…

2 days ago

VR in Real Estate? It’s Closer Than You Think

Virtual reality is often the subject of lots of science-fiction speculation. Today, VR is often…

2 days ago