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The Barron Guide to MERV Filters

You’ve probably heard the term “MERV” used before in a variety of contexts, from hospitals to schools. It’s a rating that can help customers understand how powerful or effective their filters are.

If you’ve been interested in air filtration technology or MERV filters in Bellingham, then you’ll want to understand what it means to ensure you’re not getting sold a product that doesn’t work. It can be pretty disappointing to spend money on an air filter, only to find out that the rating isn’t high enough to provide you with important filtration services that you were looking for.

Avoid situations like this and more by walking through MERV technology with us one piece at a time. Then, make sure you call our team for any air quality support you require or concerns you might have.

What Does MERV Mean?

MERV isn’t a type of filter, it generally refers to the efficiency level of a filter. MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value, and it corresponds to a scale of how powerful your filtration unit might be.

For instance, a filter with a MERV rating of 5 will only capture about 20% of indoor pollutants and contaminants that plague your air. In comparison, a MERV filter of 16 is almost at the level of a HEPA-grade filter which is what’s used in sterile environments like hospitals and surgical wards. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air which denotes just how powerful and effective these units are.

So, how do you choose which filter to purchase, and where does a conventional air filter stand on the MERV rating scale? That’s what we’ll get to next.

Common MERV Ratings

If you’re looking to invest in the cleaning and filtration of your indoor air, then you’ll want to purchase a MERV filter that can meet your demands. Here is a guide on how to choose a great filter that can do what you’re looking for.

  • MERV 1-5. A filter with a MERV rating of 1-5 is usually not going to cut it for most household needs. These can be found in small, portable air filters that take a long time to filter anything. Many MERV 1-5 filters aren’t designed for air quality, they’re mostly designed for aesthetic purposes or the protection of equipment.
  • MERV 6-13. It’s common knowledge in the industry that filtration systems with a MERV rating of 6-13 can usually make a substantial difference in a home’s air quality. This is the sweet spot where you’ll want your newly purchased air filter to be, since it can deal with most common contaminants like dust and pet dander.
  • MERV 13-16. This is the higher end of the scale. MERV 13-16 filters are more powerful but more expensive to find and install in your home. You might receive diminishing returns with how powerful they are when compared to the contaminants in your home.
  • HEPA. HEPA filters have the highest level of particle capture of any filter system. They are especially great for niche situations. For instance, people with auto-immune disorders or recovering patients can require HEPA filtration to stay healthy.

Need more tips or advice on how to choose your next air filtration system? Then call us.

Our team of Home Performance Experts has served the I-5 corridor from Blaine to Marysville, Oak Harbor to Concrete, and the San Juan Islands since 1972 with a mission of Improving Lives™. We look forward to serving you too! Contact Air Solutions by Barron today for service

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