The Meaning of MERV: Healthier Living in Your Home
You walk in the door of your home after a busy day, and you breathe easy. Do you know what you’re inhaling? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that the air inside your home is two to five times more polluted than the air outdoors. Why is that? Because new homes are built to be more and more energy efficient, making the homes airtight, which traps bad air inside the home. The quality of your air filtration plays a major role in your home’s indoor air quality, but most builders don’t include an air filtration system to combat the bad air in your home. Homes By Taber wants you to know the reason behind an air filtration system and the meaning of a MERV filter rating so you will know how it promotes healthier living in your home.
Air filters are rated with a MERV rating. MERV stands for “Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value”. The MERV standard was established in 1987, by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). The measurement is a reflection of an air filter’s effectiveness in removing particles between the sizes of 0.3 and 1.0 micrometers—rated by worst-case scenario. In other words, removing particles between the sizes of 0.3 and 1.0 micrometers is the least you can expect from the filter. The MERV rating ranges from 1 to 20, with the lower end of the scale providing minimal effectiveness. The high MERVs are required in environments that require maximum protection, like clean-rooms, pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, and any indoor areas that could be subjected to radioactive and carcinogenic materials.
How big is a micron? About 25,000 microns equal an inch. A single strand of human hair is approximately 50 microns wide. A filter that is eliminating pollutants between 0.3 and 1.0 microns is handling ultrafine particles that you can’t see.
But as you can expect, what you can’t see will hurt you. Nearly 99% of the airborne particles in your home are not visible:
One cubic foot of air in your home could contain up to 400 million microscopic particles. With all the hours you spend at home, active and asleep, investing in the right air filter is an important choice that can improve your quality of life in your home.
MERV, by the numbers
The MERV rating for air filters commonly used for residential buildings usually falls within the 4-to-12 range. ASHRAE recommends homes use at least a MERV 6 air filter, but the MERV 4 filters are still very commonly used in residential homes. The U.S. Green Building Council established a MERV 8 as a minimum. How many home builders you have researched are using a MERV filter at all? And if they are, what rating is the MERV filter they’re using?
A MERV 8 filter will trap large particles, like mold spores, dust mites, pollen, fabric protector, and cement dust, but makes no impact on eliminating the ultrafine particles from your indoor air.
A MERV 11 filter removes everything that a MERV 8 can handle, and also filters out humidifier and lead dust and auto emissions. Still, a MERV 11 doesn’t rid your home of the particles between 0.3 and 1.0 microns that impact your health and the cleanliness of your home.
A MERV 13 is the choice for superior residential, commercial buildings, and hospital laboratories because it elevates the indoor air quality to a safer, healthier level.
A higher standard
Homes by Taber sets high standards for the homes we build. We require that every home we build include an air filtration system to dramatically filter through the indoor air and improve the quality and promote a healthier life. We also include a fresh air intake system to bring in fresh air from the outside for this system to filter through. This system is not just the entry level of MERV filter, but a MERV 13 filter. The same that is used in hospitals. We want the air you breathe in your home to be cleaner air. Air that can help reduce asthma and allergy symptoms, especially with the high levels of pollen and other high allergens that Oklahomans encounter.
Look at the air filters you’re currently using in your home. Is it time to raise your standards? Ask other builders in the area what type of air filters they are using. Are their “standards”, putting your family first?
We welcome the opportunity to show you the value of Homes By Taber’s differences. Our floor plans, homes for sale, and communities reflect a thoughtful commitment to home buyers and the lifestyle you deserve. You can breathe easy when you choose Homes By Taber.
About Homes By Taber
Homes By Taber, a new home builder in the Oklahoma City metro area, offers new homes starting at 1,500 square feet of indoor living space and going up to 2,800 square feet of indoor living space. Prices for these new single-family homes start below $200,000 and go up to the mid $300,000 range. Homes By Taber was founded in 2000 by Taber LeBlanc. We currently build in 14 different locations with new homes for sale in the OKC metropolitan area.