MERV and HEPA air filters

MERV vs HEPA Air Filters

We’re back with a post discussing one of our favorite topics: air filters! We stress the importance of air filters and how they help keep the air in your home clean, reduce wear and tear on your HVAC, and keep your energy bills low. In this post, we’re going to discuss two different types of filters – MERV and HEPA – and which one is right for you!


MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) is a rating assigned to distinguish between filters. Air filters have a MERV rating between 1 and 16, depending on how effectively they remove particles and allergens from the air. Filters with the highest ratings can even remove mold, car fumes, and smoke. Those highly-rated filters are best for homes with allergy sufferers.


Many consider HEPA filters to be the top of the line HVAC air filter. HEPA filters work as part of an air purification system that can be added to your current HVAC system. It can trap contaminants as small as 0.3 microns. These are particles so small that you can’t see them without magnification. HEPA filters require an additional fan that needs to be added to your HVAC system in order to operate. Not all HVAC systems will work with HEPA filters. They need to be able to generate enough power to work with both fans. These fans will result in an increase in energy output and your bill but can be worth it depending on your air filtration needs.


All filters remove dust and other contaminants from indoor air. A MERV rating of 5 to 8 is good for most homes unless you have significant respiratory problems. 

Those with severe allergies or asthma, or higher levels of dirt or contaminants in their air (this can include paint fumes, cleaning products, etc.), should look for a MERV rating of between 8 and 16. 

Nursing homes and hospitals that require a sterile environment will often use filters with a MERV rating of between 13 and 17. These are also good for homes if someone has a chronic illness or weak immune system.


Remember that MERV-rated filters work with most home HVAC systems, and HEPA filters work with your HVAC system as part of an air purifier. The Bosworth Company in Kerrville can explain what’s right for you and your HVAC needs. Make an appointment today by calling 830-428-2764 or scheduling one online. The Bosworth Company. Worth the Call. Always.