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Furnace Filter Efficiency

How efficient is my furnace filter?

The efficiency of a furnace filter is measured by its Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating. The MERV rating system was developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers in order to establish universal standards for filter efficiency.

MERV Rating

The MERV scale goes from 1 to 16, with a rating of 16 representing the most efficient filter. In most residential settings, you will find filters ranging from 4 to 12 on the MERV scale. The most efficient filters are capable of removing bacteria, viruses, mold spores, and pollen from the air, but this will come at an additional cost. Disposable fiberglass filters are cheaper, but typically have low MERV ratings and should be replaced more frequently to prevent clogging.

Choosing the most efficient filter may seem like the obvious choice; however, the most efficient filter is not always the best option. A highly rated filter may impede airflow and put too much pressure on the furnace. Before switching the type of filter in your furnace, you should consult an HVAC professional or the furnace manufacturer’s instructions.


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ProMatcher Staff, ProMatcher
Orlando, FL 32803

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