When it comes to air quality, homeowners often wonder if a MERV 16 filter is worth the investment. MERV, or Minimum Efficiency Report Value, is a scale that rates the effectiveness of filters in trapping particles in the air. The scale ranges from 1 to 16, with 16 being the most effective. However, according to the U.
S. Environmental Protection Agency, filters in the 7-13 range often have little difference with higher MERV ratings, but will allow your system to operate much more efficiently. Our patented, high-efficiency MERV 16 filters have unique properties, as the filter media removes most of the dirt rather than the particles embedded in the filter. Both claim to be based on the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers ASHRAE 52.2 standard used to establish MERV ratings, but neither company offers an easily accessible explanation of how their own ratings differ or compare to MERV.
Since a higher MERV rating correlates with a lower particle count, the higher the MERV rating, the better. All air furnaces and central air conditioning units can handle MERV 16 filters, however since they tend to be quite deep compared to traditional filters, the installation of a dedicated aftermarket housing is required which is not always feasible. Compared to cheaper basic filters available, medium-efficiency MERV filters such as the Nordic Pure MERV 12 can greatly reduce airborne dust, mold spores, pollen and even smoke, and doing so can help alleviate respiratory ailments according to an NIH review. Filters with higher MERV ratings trap small particles more effectively than filters with lower MERV ratings.
MERV 17 to MERV 20 filters are commonly used in operating rooms, cleanrooms and other settings that require absolute cleanliness.In most cases, a MERV 16 furnace and an AC filter would offer twice the efficiency of a MERV 13 filter at the submicron level. Therefore, while it may be worth investing in a higher-rated filter for certain applications such as hospitals or cleanrooms, for most homeowners it is not necessary.