Furnace Filters – What are MERV Ratings

Do you know what MERV means


Understanding MERV Ratings: Choosing the Right Furnace Filter for Your Home

Maintaining a healthy home by changing your furnace filter cannot be overstated. They play a crucial role in trapping dust, pollen, pet dander, and other airborne particles, thereby enhancing indoor air quality. Selecting the right filter involves more than just grabbing one off the shelf. Understanding Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) ratings is key to ensuring optimal performance for your furnace and the well-being of your household.

MERV: What Does It Mean? MERV ratings serve as a standardized measurement of a filter's efficiency in capturing particles of varying sizes.

Ranging from 1 to 20, a higher MERV rating indicates better filtration capabilities. Filters with higher MERV ratings can trap smaller particles, offering superior air purification. However, the trade-off is that they impede airflow if your system isn't designed to handle such dense filters.(epa.gov)

Choosing the Right MERV Rating. To simplify your search here is an easy chart.

Know your MERV Rating

Anything below MERV 8 does not trap enough of the smaller particles and above MERV 13 may require additional work to your furnace to allow for the restrictions it causes on the blower.

Here is a breakdown of MERV ratings and what they are typically used for:

  • MERV 1-4: These filters can capture particles larger than 10 microns. They are effective at trapping larger particles like dust, pollen, and carpet fibers.
  • MERV 5-8: Filters in this range can capture particles between 3 to 10 microns, which includes mold spores, pet dander, and finer dust particles.
  • MERV 9-12: These filters can capture particles between 1 to 3 microns, including smaller dust mites, fine dust, and some bacteria.
  • MERV 13-16: Filters within this range can capture particles between 0.3 to 1 microns, including smoke, viruses, and smaller allergens.
  • MERV 17-20: Filters in this range can capture particles smaller than 0.3 microns, including bacteria and virus carriers.

To make things difficult Home Depot created their own rating (FPR)

FPR 4-5 is equivalent to MERV 6-8

FPR 6-7 is equivalent to MERV 8-11

FPR 8-9 is equivalent to MERV 11

FPR 10 is equivalent to MERV 13

Normal maintenance and replacement regardless of the MERV rating chosen is vital to keeping your system functioning properly. A clogged or dirty filter can obstruct airflow, straining the system, and degrade indoor air quality. (air filters inc.)

I advise my clients to replace the filter every 90 days for the 4/5 thick inch filter and every 60 days on the 1-inch filter.

If a family member has allergies, I recommend every 60 days on the 4/5 thick inch filter and every 30 days on the 1-inch filter.

In Conclusion Choosing the right furnace filter is not that difficult.  The higher the MERV rating the better the filter collects debris/dust. Creating a healthier and more comfortable home environment is the most important. Have questions?  Call 1st Choice Inspection (414) 803-9678 and we will help you determine which filter to use.

Verifying the manufacturers' specifications also helps ensure you choose the most suitable filter for your specific needs.

ABOUT 1st Choice Home Inspection:

1st Choice Inspection
Michael Schwitzer

1603 Rockridge Way, Waukesha, WI 53188

1st Choice Inspection: The Best Inspection Company in Waukesha, WI

When you're buying or selling a home, condo or commercial building it's important to have a thorough inspection done by a qualified professional. That's where 1st Choice Inspection comes in. We're the best home inspection company in Waukesha, WI, and I am here to help you make the best decision on purchase or sale.

Here are just a few reasons why 1st Choice Inspection is the best:

The owner, Michael Schwitzer, is certified and experienced. Certified by the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (interNACHI), and a Certified Master Inspector® with 28+ years of experience inspecting homes, condo’s and commercial buildings in Waukesha and the surrounding area.

1st Choice Inspection is thorough. Our inspections are comprehensive, and I look at every aspect of your home, condo or commercial building from the roof to the foundation in Waukesha & surrounding communities.

A home and condo inspection includes an examination of the following:

Commercial Inspections focus on the mechanical items within the building and also specific items at the request of the customer.

As the owner, Michael’s approach to business is based on customer satisfaction, As the ONLY professional and knowledgeable inspector who is also a LICENSED INSURANCE AGENT in the state. I will educate you on your new purchase and make sure you understand not only the inspection process but ways to improve it. I am happy to answer any questions you have.

We offer competitive rates and are on point.  If you are looking for a cheap inspector, you will need to go elsewhere.  The cheapest is never the best!

Areas Served:

Why Hire an Inspector?

There are many reasons to hire a home inspector when you are buying or selling a home. An inspection can help you:

  • Identify potential defects or problems with the home, condo or commercial building
  • Make an informed decision whether or not to buy the home, condo or commercial building
  • Negotiate a lower purchase price if there are defects
  • Avoid costly repairs after you move in

What to Expect During a Home or Condo Inspection:

A home or condo inspection typically takes between 3 to 4 hours to complete. I will provide you with a written report that details my findings within 24 hours and usually the same day. The report will include a description of any defects or issues that should be addressed.

A commercial inspection typically takes longer and may require additional members of the team with specific specialties.

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If you're looking for the best inspection company in Waukesha WI, look no further than 1st Choice Inspection. We will help you make the best decision for your home, condo or commercial building purchase or sale.

For more information about 1st Choice Home Inspection and their inspection services, email them at info@1stchoiceinspectionwi.com or call them at (414) 803-9678 to schedule an appointment.