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There are many reasons to get a HEPA filter for your home. You’ll have better air quality and potentially even better health if you suffer from respiratory illnesses such as asthma, allergies, and more. However, there is a lot of confusion out there about what a HEPA filter is, and what MERV the filter should be. We’ll explain the difference between these two terms and explain which MERV a HEPA filter is in this blog. 

What is MERV? 

MERV is not a type of filter. Instead, it is a rating system for filters of all kinds, including those in air purifiersfurnaces, and air conditioners. MERV is an acronym for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. It expresses the minimum efficiency that a particular air filter can achieve in removing particles of a certain size from the air. 

The higher the MERV, the more, smaller particles the filter can remove from the air. The MERV scale is from 1 to 16 (at least for residential use filters, hospitals and others can have higher MERV values in their filters.) A MERV rating below 4 is considered poor for most uses, and certainly not suitable for HEPA filters. MERV 5 to 13 provides medium protection, and 13 to 16 are considered high-end. 

HEPA air filter is a MERV 16 at minimum, and higher. 

What is HEPA? 

HEPA means High Efficiency Particulate Air. The term is a little confusing because there are many competitors. Plus, not only can you get a HEPA air purifier, you can get a HEPA quality air filter for other HVAC units and appliances, such as your furnace and air conditioner. 

A HEPA quality filter is a MERV 16 at minimum. Your HEPA air filter may need a higher rating, even up to 20 MERV. It all depends on what the filter is made to do. A standard HEPA filter will remove at least 99.97% of airborne particles from the air that are 0.03 microns in size or larger. This is an impressive feature and makes some HEPA filters suitable for use in a hospital. 

Which Filter is Right for You? 

It is recommended that you should use filters with a MERV 8 rating, at minimum. Although, it is also recommended that you use a HEPA filter if you can. That may leave homeowners unsure about what they should choose. 

Should you choose MERV 16, or a higher MERV rating, or even a HEPA filter? It can be hard to make the right call for your air purifier or furnace, so contact the experts at Dunn Heating ClimateCare for help. Our professionals can talk you through the pros and cons of HEPA filters. 


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