What MERV Rating is Best for Your Furnace?

Overall, our recommended MERV rating for furnace filters ranges from 6 to 8 to achieve a great balance between maximum furnace efficiency and home comfort. MERV 13 air filters are considered to be the best for residential HVAC systems, and are often used in schools to provide clean learning environments for their students and staff. It's important to note that no product higher than MERV 13 is recommended for residential use. MERV 13 air filters are very effective at removing a wide range of particles, such as smoke, bacteria, and even some viruses.

They are perfect for people who are prone to illness and need the cleanest and most sterile environment possible. The MERV rating you choose between 7 and 13 depends on the level of filtration you need. If your family has allergies or asthma, a higher MERV score will be beneficial. If your family doesn't have any difficulty breathing, a lower filter, such as a 7, will save you some money on your energy bill.

If your family has health problems or allergies, then you may want to look for a high-efficiency filter that is MERV 11 or higher. Now that you know what MERV rating your furnace can handle, it's time to find the best HVAC filter for your installation. Therefore, if you are looking for a high-quality furnace filter that is not too expensive, a MERV 8-10 filter is worth considering. If someone in your household suffers from allergies or asthma, you should consider buying a higher MERV air filter.

You can use the table below to better understand how filters rated with FPR and MPR compare to the more standard MERV rating system. It should also be noted that filters at the lower end of the MERV scale are not even tested for their efficiency in capturing E1 and E2 particles. The table below shows the minimum threshold at which a filter must operate to obtain a specific MERV rating. A MERV 14 or higher air cleaner can create more resistance in the airflow than a residential HVAC system is designed to withstand.

If you are susceptible to allergies, asthma, or other respiratory conditions, you may want to use a filter with a MERV rating of approximately 10 to 12. Choosing the right MERV rating for your furnace filter has a big impact on indoor air quality, your HVAC system, and most importantly, the well-being of your family. Air filters with MERV ratings higher than 13 also tend to restrict airflow because they have smaller pores to capture smaller particles. Filters with higher MERV ratings trap small particles more effectively than filters with lower MERV ratings. Sometimes particles such as pollen, pet dander, and fine dust can slip through the filter unless you get one with a higher MERV rating. Selecting the right MERV rating for your air filter is a balancing act between the capabilities of your HVAC system and the indoor air quality you want to achieve.