What MERV Rating Do I Need for Allergies?

Ideally, if you suffer from allergies, you should choose a filter with a MERV rating of 17 or higher. This is the most effective rating for blocking particles that cause allergy symptoms. Filters with a MERV rating of 9 to 11 offer at least 90% particle resistance, and are suitable for those with extreme allergies. For most residential homes, a MERV rating of 5 to 8 is appropriate.

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. An air conditioning filter with a MERV rating of 11 or higher can effectively eliminate 75% of allergens circulating throughout the home. The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating system established by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) is used by many filter manufacturers. The MERV number is an indication of the filter's effectiveness in trapping particles.

A MERV 1 filter traps dust particles, but allows most dust to pass through, while a MERV 16 traps bacteria and particles as small as 0.3 microns. If you don't have allergies, a MERV 7 oven filter will work perfectly in your home. And if you have family members with allergies, choose a filter with a MERV 11 rating. That will be enough as a good anti-allergic oven filter.

For those with severe allergies, filters rated 17 or higher are even more effective at blocking allergens, but they also block more air and restrict airflow. The MERV rating is based on three composite points of average particle removal efficiency. Categories range from 1 (very low) to 16 (very high). The higher the rating, the more efficient your air filter will be that will help reduce allergens, pollutants and pollutants in indoor air. Due to the dense composition, extremely powerful HVAC fans (blowers) are needed to move air through filters with high MERV ratings. If you want the best filter for allergies or the best filter for homes with pets, look for filters rated 13 to 16. According to ASHRAE, air filters with a MERV rating of 10 or higher are best for eliminating the smallest airborne allergens, such as pet dander. In comparison, people who have no health problems and live in an area with minimal air pollution can be comfortable with filters that have lower MERV ratings.

A MERV-8 air filter is suitable for many scenarios and is a popular choice for many people in a residential environment. It may have a funny name, but the MERV system is an effective way to filter out allergens in your home without having to spend a lot on an expensive, professional-style HEPA filter. Even though the MERV rating is the standard air filter rating established in the industry, there are other rating systems you can find. MERV oven air filters 9 to 12 capture up to 95% of airborne particles and contaminants, such as pollen, dust mites and mold spores, as small as 1.0 micron. 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.

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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