What is the Highest MERV Rating Available?

In general, a MERV rating between 6 and 13 is suitable for most homes. This range provides a good balance between air filtration, airflow, and affordability. An air filter with a MERV 13 rating can last up to six months before needing to be replaced. Although some websites mention MERV 17-20 filters, the EPA and ASHRAE only rate filters on the MERV scale from 1 to 16.

If you don't have allergies or, in the worst case, it's a mild allergy, a MERV 5 to MERV 8 filter might be enough. ASHRAE recommends MERV models 13 and 14, but it's best to select the highest possible MERV rating for your specific air conditioning system. For households where allergies and asthma are a priority, choose between a MERV 11 or higher. If you want to learn more about MERV ratings, microns, and air filtration, check out the section Different filters and their MERV classification.

While MERV 8 is known to be effective at filtering contaminants such as pollen, dust mites, sawdust, mold spores, and lint from the air, higher MERV ratings will further clean the air.

Darryl Coste
Darryl Coste

Friendly web scholar. Devoted student. Wannabe pizza fanatic. Subtly charming bacon fan. General entrepreneur. Infuriatingly humble troublemaker.

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