Is a MERV 16 Good for Your HVAC System?

The MERV 16 filter is RARELY recommended for residential homeowners

Why? To put it simply, the filtration is too advanced for a typical residential HVAC system. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the holes in the filter. Installing a system with a filter that is too dense will cause your HVAC system to become overwhelmed at the filter site. This reduces the amount of air flow leaving the system and less comfort to your space.

What is a MERV rating?

MERV stands for Minimum Effective Reporting Value. It is a measurement that records the density of the filter itself. As air passes through the holes built into the filter, it is purified by taking out the unwanted particles. The smaller the holes in the filter, the more and smaller particles will be removed and also the more powerful your HVAC system needs to be in order to push the air through and fill the ducting on the other side resulting in the perfect climate for your space.

Is a higher MERV rating always better?

Not necessarily. If your system isn’t built for such a dense filter, it will negatively affect the amount of air circulation through your home. The system will not be able to push the air through the filter well enough to give you the desired temperature and air flow. This results in unneeded wear and tear on your HVAC system and can get very expensive and stressful in the long run as you have to replace the parts that are working longer and harder or as other problems start to form. To get the best quality for your home and your system you’ve got to find the sweet spot between the density of the filter and capability of your HVAC system.

How can you get maximum filtration without sacrificing climate comfort?

For this, we recommend the MERV 11 or MERV 13 Filtration Systems. We know that safety is important to you and we want to help you have the best air quality for you and your family. These filters still take out up to 54% of the tiniest particles and 99% of large particles reducing the number of allergens, bacteria, pet dander, etc., by over 50%! This is an incredible difference.

What is a MERV 16 filter safely used for?

MERV 16 filters are often used in places like hospitals, where there is a high level of unknown airborne bacteria and viruses — things that can spread through the air ducts. It’s also for the reason hospitals use a much heavier HVAC system to scrub their air clean of these potentially deadly contaminants and thereby improve indoor air quality. 

So, which is the most efficient filter for my home?

The highest efficiency filtration that we recommend for homes is the MERV 11 or MERV 13. Ok, so… which one? Ask yourself a few questions to decide. Do you have children or pets? Does anyone in your home smoke inside? Does anyone in your home have moderate to severe allergies? If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, you should consider getting the MERV 13 filter. If no, then you can go for the MERV 11 which is also very high in efficiency and will also be safe for your residential HAVC system.




Sayre Heating & Cooling Inc.