Breathe Easy: How a High MERV Rated Air Filter Can Reduce Your Allergies

Allergies can be a real pain to deal with, especially when they affect your breathing. Constant sneezing, itchy eyes and a runny nose can turn your daily routine into a nightmare. That's why we're excited to share how upgrading your air filters can make a significant difference in reducing your allergy symptoms.

When it comes to choosing the right air filter for your home, having a high Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating is crucial. This rating system, which ranges from 1 to 20, measures how effectively an air filter can capture particles from the air. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the particles it can trap, including dust, pollen, pet dander, and other airborne allergens.

By investing in a high MERV rated air filter, you can breathe easy and enjoy allergen-free air in your home. In this article, we'll explain the benefits of using a high MERV rated air filter, how to choose the right one for your needs, and other helpful tips to keep allergens at bay. Get ready to say goodbye to allergy symptoms and hello to clean and fresh indoor air!

The Importance of a High MERV Rating for Allergy Reduction

If you suffer from allergies, you know how challenging it can be to find relief from symptoms like sneezing, coughing, and itchy eyes. One solution to reducing allergens in your home is by using a high MERV rated air filter in your HVAC system.

But what is a MERV rating? MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and is a rating system used to measure the effectiveness of an air filter. The MERV scale ranges from 1-20, with higher numbers indicating a more effective filter.

Air filters with a MERV rating of 8-13 are best for reducing household allergens like pollen, dust mites, and pet dander. Filters with a rating of 14-20 are even more efficient and can capture microscopic pollutants like bacteria and viruses.

Choosing a high MERV rated air filter can make a significant difference in reducing allergens in your home. The filter traps allergens and prevents them from circulating through the air. This can lead to improved indoor air quality and fewer allergy symptoms.

It is important to note that higher MERV rated filters may require more frequent replacements, as they trap more particles and can become clogged faster. It is best to consult with a professional to determine the right filter for your HVAC system and lifestyle.

In conclusion, a high MERV rated air filter can be a game-changer for those looking to reduce allergy symptoms. By choosing a filter with a higher rating, you can effectively capture allergens and improve indoor air quality for a more comfortable living environment.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a High MERV Rated Air Filter

Choosing the right air filter can be overwhelming, especially if you're not familiar with the different ratings and specifications. Here are some factors to consider when choosing a high MERV rated air filter:

MERV rating: The MERV rating indicates how efficient the filter is at capturing airborne particles. Choose an air filter with a MERV rating that is suitable for your needs. For example, a MERV rating of 8 or above is effective in capturing pollen, pet dander, and mold spores.

Size: The size of your air filter is essential since it needs to fit snugly into your HVAC system. Check your system's manual to determine the right size for your filter.

Type of filter: Air filters come in different types, such as fiberglass, pleated, and electrostatic. Fiberglass filters are the least expensive but are less effective in capturing small particles. Pleated filters are more efficient and have a higher MERV rating. Electrostatic filters use a static charge to capture particles and are a good option if you have pets or smokers in your home.

Lifetime: Air filters have different lifetimes, ranging from 30 days to six months or more. Consider how often you're willing to replace your filter and choose a suitable lifetime option.

Price: Finally, consider the price of your air filter. While higher MERV ratings and more efficient filters are more expensive, they may save you money in the long run by reducing the frequency of HVAC repairs and improving air quality.

By considering these factors, you can choose a high MERV rated air filter that meets your needs and promotes clean air in your home.

Benefits of Regularly Replacing Your Air Filter

Did you know that regularly changing the air filter in your HVAC system can significantly improve your indoor air quality? Here are some benefits of replacing your air filter:

Improved Indoor Air Quality: A clean air filter is crucial for maintaining good indoor air quality. It removes pollutants, allergens, and other harmful particles from the air, improving the air you breathe, and reducing the risk of allergies, asthma, and other respiratory problems.

Increased Energy Efficiency: A dirty air filter reduces the airflow in your HVAC system, making it work harder to maintain the desired temperature. This can result in higher energy bills and increased wear and tear on the system. Replacing the air filter regularly can improve energy efficiency and reduce the need for costly repairs.

Extended Lifespan of Your HVAC System: When your HVAC system works harder than it should, it can cause unnecessary wear and tear that can shorten its lifespan. Replacing your air filter regularly can reduce the strain on your HVAC system and help extend its life.

Cost Savings: Replacing your air filter regularly can save you money in the long run. A clean air filter can improve energy efficiency, reduce the risk of costly repairs, and extend the lifespan of your HVAC system. So, investing in a new air filter every few months can pay off in the form of lower energy bills and reduced HVAC maintenance costs.

Overall, replacing your air filter regularly is an important step in maintaining good indoor air quality and improving the efficiency and lifespan of your HVAC system. So, don't forget to check your air filter regularly and replace it when necessary.

Other Ways to Reduce Allergens in the Home

Aside from using a high MERV rated air filter, there are other ways to reduce allergens in your home:

Keep Your Home Clean: Dust and allergens can easily accumulate on surfaces and carpets. Regularly dust and vacuum your home to prevent the buildup of allergens.

Wash Bedding and Linens: Bedding and linens can easily collect dust mites and other allergens. Wash them regularly in hot water to eliminate these allergens.

Reduce Humidity: Dust mites and mold thrive in environments with high humidity. Use a dehumidifier to maintain a humidity level of 50% or lower.

Use Allergen-Proof Covers: Special allergen-proof covers are available for mattresses, pillows, and comforters. These covers can prevent dust mites and other allergens from settling in your bedding and linens.

Avoid Smoking Indoors: Smoking can release harmful chemicals and irritants into the air, triggering allergies and asthma in sensitive individuals. Avoid smoking indoors to prevent allergens from accumulating in your home.

By taking these additional steps, you can further reduce the presence of allergens in your home and breathe easier all year round.

Conclusion: Improving Indoor Air Quality for Allergy Relief

If you suffer from allergies, it's important to take steps to improve the air quality in your home. A high MERV rated air filter can make a big difference, trapping allergens and other irritants before they can circulate in your home. Here are some additional steps you can take to breathe easier:

First, keep your home clean and dust-free. This means vacuuming and sweeping regularly, as well as wiping down surfaces with a damp cloth. Dust mites and other allergens thrive in a dirty home, so keeping things clean can make a big difference.

Next, consider using an air purifier. These devices are designed to filter out allergens and other pollutants, making the air in your home cleaner and healthier. Look for models with HEPA filters, which are highly effective at removing even the smallest particles from the air.

In addition to these steps, it's important to be mindful of other potential allergens in your home. If you have pets, for example, you'll want to take steps to keep their hair and dander from accumulating in your home. Using hypoallergenic bedding and avoiding harsh chemical cleaners can also help.

With these tips in mind, you can take control of your home's air quality and reduce your allergy symptoms. Remember, small changes can make a big difference, so start small and work your way up!


In conclusion, a high MERV rated air filter is an effective tool in reducing allergy symptoms. By capturing even the tiniest of particles, such as pollen, mold spores, and pet dander, it ensures that the air you breathe is clean and safe. Regular replacement of air filters and proper maintenance can go a long way in enhancing the overall indoor air quality of your home, and consequently, your health. Start enjoying clean air today!

Frequently Asked Question

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value - a scale created by ASHRAE to measure the effectiveness of filters in removing different sized particles. For example, a MERV-13 filter is designed to catch 90% of particles 3-10 µm in size, 85% of particles 1-3 µm in size (PM2.5), and 50% of particles 0.3-1 µm in size. Generally, filters with higher MERV ratings are better at catching higher percentages of particles, including the smaller ones.

When you install a filter in the airstream, it will create resistance. The amount of resistance depends on the type of filter material and the amount of area it covers. Standard fiberglass filters don’t generate much resistance, though it increases as the filter gets dirtier. To remove more pollutants from the air, you can use a filter with a different material such as a high MERV filter. These filters have smaller pores, which allow them to catch more pollutants, but also create higher resistance.

The problem with this is that the blower and furnace are only designed to handle a certain amount of pressure drop. Too much resistance means the air flow is low, making the heat exchanger get hotter and potentially crack. On the plus side, low air flow can result in better dehumidification in humid climates, as long as the air flow isn’t so low that it turns the condensate to ice.

So, the answer to the question is: yes, higher MERV filters are better, but you need to find the right balance between air flow, resistance, and effectiveness.

Air filters are designed to capture airborne particles, which can be anything from dust and pollen to mold spores and bacteria. The filter works by drawing air through itself and trapping the particles in the web of fibers that make up the filter.

What are the types of air filters

There are many different types of air filters available on the market. The type of filter you need will depend on the specific needs of your facility. Some common types of air filters include MERV, HEPA, activated carbon, and ultraviolet (UV) germicidal irradiation.

MERV: MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. MERV ratings range from MERV-0 to MERV-16. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter is at capturing particles.

HEPA: HEPA filters are a type of air filter that is designed to capture very small particles. A true HEPA filter has a MERV rating of 17-20.

Activated carbon: Activated carbon filters are designed to remove gases and odors from the air.

UV germicidal irradiation: UV germicidal irradiation is a type of light that is used to kill bacteria and viruses.

There are pleated filters and panel filters. MERV 13 filters are pleated, while MERV 16 filters can be either pleated or panel. Pleated filters have more surface area because they are made up of multiple layers of filter media. The pleats create more space for the air to flow through, and the more layers of filter media there are, the more particles can be captured.

HEPA filters are usually pleated, but they can also be panel.

What are the differences between MERV 13 vs HEPA filters

While MERV 13 and HEPA filters both remove particles from the air, they work in different ways.

MERV 13 filters are designed to remove particles that are larger than 0.30 microns, while HEPA filters are designed to remove particles that are smaller than 0.30 microns. MERV 13 filters are often used in commercial and industrial settings, while HEPA filters are often used in hospitals and other medical settings.

MERV 13 filters are more efficient at removing large particles from the air, while HEPA filters are more efficient at removing small particles from the air. MERV 13 filters can remove up to 99.97% of particles from the air, while HEPA filters can remove up to 99.99% of particles from the air.

MERV 13 filters are less expensive than HEPA filters, and they can be used in a wider variety of settings. However, HEPA filters are more effective at removing small particles from the air, and they can be used in settings where MERV 13 filters cannot.

MERV and HEPA filters both work to capture airborne particles, but they do so in different ways. MERV 13 filters are designed to capture particles larger than 0.30 microns, while HEPA filters are designed to capture particles smaller than 0.30 microns. MERV 13 filters are more efficient at removing large particles from the air, while HEPA filters are better at capturing small particles. 

MERV 13 filters are less expensive and can be used in a wider variety of settings, but they can only remove up to 99.97% of particles from the air. On the other hand, HEPA filters are more expensive but can remove up to 99.99% of particles, making them ideal for medical settings. In short, MERV 13 filters are great for everyday use, while HEPA filters are better for specialized environments.

Your HVAC system includes a furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump. It's essential to keep these systems clean and efficient by regularly replacing the air filters. To do this, you'll need to know about MERV ratings.

The air filter in your HVAC system serves two key functions: it protects your system from dust, and it helps clean the air in your home. When the filter is clogged, dust can build up in the system, and the equipment may overheat and fail.

How often the air filter needs to be changed depends on your home's size, where you live, and if you have pets. Inspect it every month, and replace it when you can't see the filter material through the dust.

When choosing an air filter, refer to the specifications of your HVAC system to determine the size. The MERV scale is used to measure the filter's ability to remove particles from the air, and ratings range from 1 to 20, with lower ratings meaning lower-quality filters.

Remember to balance air cleaning with air flow when upgrading your filter to a higher MERV rating. Too dense of a filter can cause air flow restriction and harm your system. Ask your HVAC technician for advice when in doubt.

Replacing the air filter is easy. Open the blower compartment located between the air return and the furnace or air handler. Put the used filter in a plastic bag, then insert the new filter with the arrows pointing in the direction of the airflow.

MERV 11 filters used to be thought of as air flow restrictors, but this is no longer necessarily the case. Home Energy's 2009 experimental test concluded that the pressure drop of high-MERV filters isn't as severe as it used to be. If you're renting and don't have any special needs, then a standard, cheap fiberglass filter with a cardboard frame is fine to use every three months. But if you own your home, then it's worth investing in a more durable filter.

Pleated filters with more pleats per foot are the better option and should be more effective at improving indoor air quality. However, the price can be an issue. A standard 16x25x1 11 MERV filter will cost around $5, but you can save a bit if you buy them in packs of 12. Filtrete, Purolator, and Nordic Pure are all trusted brands.

If you plan to buy washable filters, be aware that cheaper models may have loose filter media after washing and won't perform as well. Disposable filters are also more hygienic since they remove all the dirt from the air. Keep in mind that the more pleats per foot, the better the filter will be.

So, when it comes to MERV 11, the issue of air flow restriction isn't as big as it used to be. With the right filter, you can improve your indoor air quality without having to worry about a pressure drop. Make sure to replace your filter every three months for the best performance.

MERV ratings are used to compare filters to determine which is most effective for eliminating pollutants in a home or office. The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) developed the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) system to measure how well an air filter captures common airborne particles. There are 16 MERV values, ranging from 1 to 16, and the efficiency increases with the MERV number.

Filters are tested against 12 size ranges of particles, with the smallest being around 0.3 microns and the largest around 10 microns. To give a sense of the size, a micron is one millionth of a meter and a strand of human hair is approximately 75 to 100 microns.

The MERV rating is determined by measuring the particle count upstream and downstream of the filter being tested over six intervals, beginning with a clean filter. Afterward, a special ASHRAE test dust is added for five additional measurement cycles. The filter’s performance is determined by calculating the particle density before and after passing through the filter, and then assigning a MERV rating.

The MERV 8 filter is the most common filter in the U.S. Understanding how MERV ratings work can help you understand why it's so popular and how to choose the most beneficial filter for your needs.