It’s safe to say that air quality is important for every family. But if you have a child who suffers from asthma or a family member with a chronic illness, the air quality in your home is about much more than comfort. For some families, maintaining clean air in your home is a key part of keeping your family healthy and safe.


In recent years, air quality and filtration technology have progressed leaps and bounds. One of the most important innovations is the development of the MERV rating for determining air filtration quality. The air purification and air filtration experts at Furnace Doctors in Little Canada put together this guide to walk you through the basics of how MERV can keep your family safe.


What is MERV?

MERV is a rating system designed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). MERV is a rating system that helps determine how efficient a filter is at filtering out particles.


The acronym MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, and it’s basically a way of determining how good a filter is at trapping particles. MERV rates filters from 1 through 16 with 16 being the most efficient filter.


Why Does a MERV Rating Matter?

With a lower MERV rating, you can have poorer air quality in a home. A lower MERV rating can also mean damage to your HVAC system. ASHRAE recommends a minimum MERV rating of 6, while the United States Department of Energy recommends a MERV rating of at least 13. 


LEED’s recommendation splits the difference at 8. One thing is certain: the higher the MERV rating, the cleaner the air in your home will be and the better your cooling and heating system will run.


Breaking Down the Rating System

Now that we know a higher MERV rating system means more particles get trapped, understanding what kind of particles your filter is trapping is a key to keeping your home safe.


Here’s a breakdown of the MERV system:

●        MERV 1-4 - traps carpet fibers, dust, pollen, and dust mites

●        MERV 5-8 - traps mold spores, hair spray, and cement dust

●        MERV 9-12 - traps auto emissions, milled flour, lead dust, and humidifier dust

●        MERV 13-16 - traps bacteria and most tobacco smoke


Twin Cities Air Quality Control Services

For homeowners living in the Twin Cities, we can help connect you with the best quality MERV-rated air filters to keep your homes safer and your systems running efficiently. We offer hospital-rated MERV air filters for your home.


We can also test the air quality in your home to make sure you have the healthiest air for your family. Give our air quality control experts at Furnace Doctors in Little Canada a call at 651-789-3082, or contact us to learn more about what we do.