MERV Filters

MERV Filters: How The Numbers Add Up

Feb 7, 2012

Do you know which MERV filters will enhance your home’s indoor air quality and protect your HVAC equipment? It’s fairly easy to find out. All you need to know is which MERV (minimum efficiency rating value) filter will address the pollutants that you need to get rid of, and how much airflow it will allow.

Particle Size

One of the primary factors that MERV ratings indicate is how small of a particle a filter will be able to trap. MERV ratings for residential filters run from 1 to 16, with higher-rated filters able to trap smaller particles.


A MERV filter must also allow enough air to flow through the filter itself, and into the HVAC equipment, which needs a certain amount of air in order to function properly. In fact, if there is not enough airflow, your furnace or A/C will have to work overtime, and can eventually breakdown. That’s why filters are designed with special materials that will simultaneously capture particles and still allow air to flow through them.

Choosing A Filter

Here’s what you need to know when choosing a filter. Lower MERV-rated filters will trap larger particles and allow a lot of air to flow through them. At the opposite end of the spectrum, high-rated MERV filters will trap the smallest of particles, but their surface material is tightly woven and dense, and typically won’t allow enough air through for residential systems. So, you can see that as the MERV rating goes up, so does a filter’s ability to trap particles, but the filter’s ability to allow air through decreases.

If you’re considering a change in filters, it’s best to consult with an expert HVAC technician, who can balance your system’s needs with a filter’s capacity to trap particles and allow airflow.

The correct MERV filter will help your HVAC equipment run smoothly and efficiently, while keeping undesirable elements out of the air in your Greater Orlando-area home. If you’d like help selecting the right MERV-rated filter for your home, contact the professionals at Rinaldi’s Air Conditioning today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about MERV filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Rinaldi’s services Orlando, Florida and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!