What MERV Rating Blocks Pollen and Allergens Best?

When it comes to blocking particles that cause allergy symptoms, the best MERV rating is 17 or higher. These MERV 11 filters are designed to capture particles such as fine dust, pollen and pet dander, making them perfect for helping prevent seasonal allergies. MERV scores of 9 to 11 mean at least 90% particle resistance. If you suffer from extreme allergies, you'll want to look for a filter with a MERV rating of nine or higher.

These filters are capable of capturing particles as small as one micron. If you have allergies, asthma, or other health conditions that poor air quality can affect, a MERV-5 filter wouldn't be the best option for you. If you buy an air filter with a MERV rating that is too low, the smallest pollen, allergens and other particles will not be filtered out. Meanwhile, air filters with a MERV 14 rating or higher are designed for commercial HVAC systems that can handle the coarsest filter material.

Since you'll get lower airflow with tall MERV filters, make sure your oven can maintain sufficient airflow and static pressure with the filter of your choice. However, if you have allergies, you'll need a filter with a MERV rating of around 10 to 14 to make sure it filters out particles such as pollen, mold spores, and pet dander. Based on two of the three categories evaluated (smoke and dust), filters with higher MERV ratings are preferred. The higher MERV rating means that an air filter will capture the most dust, while the lower rating means that a filter will capture the least amount of dust.

While some families can easily purchase and maintain a filter with a higher MERV rating, others may not. But if you have severe allergies or health problems that can worsen without heavily filtered air, a MERV-8 air filter may not be the best option for you. If you have sensitive allergies that are triggered by smoke or smog, you'll want to get an air filter with a MERV rating at the top end of the scale. One thing to keep in mind is that a MERV 11 air filter may need to be changed more frequently than a MERV 8 air filter. Using an air cleaner with a MERV rating of 10 to 14 will help remove fine dust and particles from the air you breathe.

While filters with higher MERV ratings will eliminate common allergens, those specifically designed for people with allergies may have additional features that specifically target these issues. Since the MERV rating system is standard, it makes it easier to compare filters with different MERV ratings. A MERV rating is important because it helps you understand the effectiveness of an air filter so you can choose the right one for your particular needs.

Kristy Letman
Kristy Letman

Typical music practitioner. Professional beer enthusiast. Hipster-friendly pop culture buff. Proud travel geek. Proud social media fan.

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