This Is MERV: Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value

by Alexander Griffin
This Is MERV: Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value

Air quality has always been important. But after the coronavirus pandemic, everyone has taken air quality much more seriously. In order to get people back to work, back into airplanes, and back to restaurants and venues, it is very important that they feel safe and healthy. 

In order to improve air quality, a lot of people are upgrading their ventilation systems. Upgrading an existing HVAC system can be very expensive. A lot of air filtration systems come with a filter that traps dangerous particles in the air.

However, not all filtration systems are created equal. This is why the MERV rating system is so helpful. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and it tells users what particles the filter is able to trap from the air and how effective the filter is.

What Is MERV and Why Was It Created?

The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating system was created by ASHRAE. ASHRAE stands for the American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers. This is an industry-standard rating system used by air filtration and ventilation experts around the country and the world.

The rating system can help to determine how efficient and effective a filter is. It will also tell you what the air filter is able to trap and take away from the air. 

The MERV rating of a filter is necessary for knowing how to decide which filtration level is the best fit for your office and needs. ASHRAE rates the filters from MERV 1 to MERV 17.

MERV 1 is the lowest level of filtration and MERV 17 is the highest level of filtration. The rating that is assigned to a filter will show the type and size of particles that the filter can capture. This includes gases, viruses, bacteria, dust, and other toxins in the air.

The higher the MERV rating is, the smaller the particle size the filter is able to trap.

How Can A MERV Filter Help with Mitigating Spread of SARS-CoV-2 Virus (Covid-19)?

It is important to note that using the right filter and proper MERV rating can help you to slow or stop the spread of the coronavirus within an indoor space. ASHRAE has been frequently asked about the size of the particle of the COVID virus and if air filters can capture it.

If you’re looking to utilize filtration controls to help stop the spread of the coronavirus in your air, you need to use the proper filter with the corresponding rating. A filter with a MERV rating of 13 or higher can trap coronavirus particles that are in the air.

Also, while that kind of air filter can trap some of the virus particles, it can’t completely remove COVID from the air. 

While it is important to protect yourself and others from getting the coronavirus, people should have been improving their air quality even before the coronavirus came about. We can’t forget that there are dangerous toxins in the air that can lead to sickness and disease. 

With the right air filtration system and a good air purifier, you can reduce the spread of the coronavirus but can remove other harmful toxins too. These contaminants can include insecticide dust, sneeze nuclei, tobacco smoke, and bacteria.

Whether you’re the head of facilities, a superintendent, or a business owner, you need to keep your occupants safe and healthy.

Higher MERV Rating Is Not Always Better

A higher MERV rating means that more airflow is restricted. But this doesn’t mean that a higher MERV rating is going to be more efficient. If your HVAC system is not equipped to handle the increased resistance that the filter offers then you won’t get enough air exchange.

If you install an air filter that is too effective at capturing particles, then you could be restricting too much air. Certain facilities, such as airplanes and hospitals, require a filter with a high MERV rating. But a casual indoor space doesn’t need to have a MERV rating that is higher than 13. 

The consequences of restricting airflow can be severe or can be mild. A mild outcome can lead to discomfort in the cooling/heating of the building. With the HVAC system not working at its best level, it won’t effectively cool or heat each room in the building.

A serious consequence would be your HVAC/furnace heat exchange gets hotter due to restricted airflow and it cracks. When it cracks, this can lead to your duct system releasing carbon monoxide. You can then have dangerous toxins floating in your air.

There is no perfect filtration system for an indoor space. Each building and facility is going to need a certain MERV rating based on various factors. You can hire a professional engineer to look at the space and install the proper filtration system for your needs. 

The Importance of Knowing What MERV Is

Hopefully, after reading the above article, you now have a better of what MERV is and why it is so important. As we can see, the MERV rating can help make sure that you are choosing the proper filtration system for your facility. These ratings can make sure that you keep yourself and your occupants safe and healthy.

Just make sure that you have a professional assess your space so that you get the proper system.

Are you looking for other useful and interesting articles like this one? Check out the rest of our blog for more helpful articles! 

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More