What MERV Rating Should You Use For Your Air Filter?

If you’ve been looking for a 16x20x1 air filter for your HVAC system, then you may have noticed that you have the ability to choose a MERV rating for the filter. You may have also noticed that as the number gets higher, the price goes up. That may make you wonder: what MERV rating should you get, and is it worth the added cost?

What Is a MERV Rating?

In essence, the MERV rating of a 16x20x1 air filter is how well it removes particles from the air. If the air filter has a lower number, it may not be able to remove particles of a certain size from your air, but it will be capable of removing dust, dust mites, and pollen. Larger numbers will be able to remove a wide range of pollutants from the air, including those that are smaller in sizes such as pet dander, mold spores, and viruses.

What MERV Rating Should You Get?

When it comes to deciding what MERV rating will work for you, there are some things you need to consider. The most important is what you want your air filter to do. If you only need it to remove dust and larger particles from the air, then a standard air filter with a MERV 8 rating will probably be sufficient.

Should you decide that you want your air conditioner or furnace to make your air as clean as possible and remove a wide range of harmful pollutants, including mold spores, bacteria, and viruses, then you’ll want to get a filter with the highest rating there is, the MERV 13.

You even have the choice of getting an air filter that can remove various odors from your home in addition to trapping pollen, dust, dust mites, and bacteria. This could be an ideal filter to use in homes where people smoke, have pets, and also to reduce odors from cooking.

Having an odor-removing filter can also be used in urban environments and will help remove pollutants that are often found in the city, including nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and ozone. For this option, you would look at a 16x20x1 Air filter that has a MERV 8 carbon rating.

Other Considerations

Finding the right MERV rating will be based on personal preference. However, if you already suffer from allergies or asthma, getting a filler that can remove irritants from the air will be in your best interest. Since a MERV 13 air filter has the ability to remove some of the smallest air pollutants, this can reduce the particles that you breathe in.

It’s also recommended that anyone who suffers from a compromised immune system or any lung disease should use a filter with a MERV 13 rating as this filter not only filters out harmful pollutants, but it can also trap viruses and bacteria that can make you or others sick. It’s another line of defense to ensure that everyone in your home is as healthy as possible.

Is It Worth the Investment?

In addition to asking what MERV rating you should get when it comes to your 16x20x1 air filter, you may also be asking if paying the extra money for a higher rating is worth the investment. Despite the fact that you are paying a little more for a higher rating, it’s not a huge amount—a few more dollars at most. If you are serious about ensuring your indoor air is as clean as possible, and your family is healthy, then investing a few more dollars is absolutely worth it.

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