merv air filter

What is a MERV Air Filter, and What are its Benefits?

M&S Mechanical Team

As more New Yorkers return to working in an office environment, indoor air quality (IAQ) has become a primary concern for building and facilities managers. One often overlooked consideration is the air filters used in commercial HVAC systems. The American Society of Heating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHAE) has suggested commercial building owners consider upgrading to high-efficiency MERV air filters rated 13 or above.

What is the MERV Scale?

Developed by ASHRAE, MERV, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, is a scale that ranges from 1 to 20. This metric evaluates an air filter’s efficiency and effectiveness at catching airborne particulates, such as dust, allergens, and contaminants.

The higher your filter’s MERV rating, the stronger its air filtration capabilities. Lower rated MERV air filters may only catch large dust particles but will allow pollen and mold to pass into your building’s airflow.

MERV air filters rated from 13 to 16 are used primarily in commercial buildings.

ASHRAE suggests upgrading commercial HVAC systems in non-health care facilities to MERV-13 air filters or the highest achievable level for that building.

How Does a MERV-13 Air Filter Work?

They have high-quality, thick pleats that filter out almost all harmful particulates while minimizing system backpressure and keeping indoor air flowing smoothly. A MERV air filter uses an electrostatic charge to remove fine particles, like those that can carry viruses.

MERV-13 filters will trap and block common particles such as:

  • Pollen, dust mites, and mold
  • Large dust particles
  • All types of bacteria

Learn what you need to know about MERV air filters

MERV Filters Rated 13 and Above Provide Maximum Filtration

MERV air filters on the higher end of the scale provide better IAQ. A MERV-13 air filter is up to 30 times more effective than an ordinary fiberglass air filter.

They have high-quality, thick pleats that trap and block as much as 98 percent of particles as small as 0.3 microns. Filters on the lower end of the MERV scale generally provide only basic filtration of larger particles and contaminants, such as dust, lint, and pollen.

Contact M&S Mechanical about Upgrading Your HVAC System

At M&S Mechanical, we understand how important IAQ is right now. If you are considering an upgrade to your commercial HVAC system, contact us today. We can quickly outfit your building with MERV-13 filters that will effectively provide a healthier, safer indoor environment.