Filters Are Rated With MERV Ratings | Santa Fe

Filters are Rated with MERV Ratings

Filters are an important part of the HVAC system. Not only do they clean your air, they also allow your furnace to operate at its optimum level. What’s more is the fact that not all filters are created equal. In fact, just like with air conditioners and furnaces, filters are also rated based upon their efficiency.

Disposable filters are ranked on a scale of 1-20 MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) ratings with 20 being the best and 1 being the worst. A brief description of the ratings based on a chart from Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia’s “minimum efficiency reporting value” can be read below:


1-4: These types of filters with these ratings are usually found in residential window AC units. They can stop sanding and spray paint dust, pollen, dust mites, cockroach debris, and textile and carpet fibers.

5-8:  These filters are used in both residential homes and in industrial and commercial workplaces. They will stop  dust mite debris, spores, mold, cat and dog dander, hair spray, dusting aids, fabric protector, and pudding mix.

9-12:  These filters are used for higher quality filtration in residential homes as well as in hospital laboratories and in commercial places. They block Milled flour, humidifier dust, legionella, Lead dust, Auto emission particulates, and Nebulizer droplets.

13-16: These types of filters are used in hospitals. They can block bacteria, most paint pigments, droplet nuclei (sneeze), cooking oil, most smoke and insecticide dust, and most face powder.

17-20:  These filters are the most efficient. They are used in cleanrooms and electronics and pharmaceutical manufacturing. They can block carbon dust, viruses, sea salt, and smoke.

Questions?  Contact Santa Fe Air.

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