We get many questions regarding the difference between HEPA filters and MERV filters. The quick answer is MERV is a rating system and HEPA is a type of filter.
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. These filters are rated on how small of a particle they can filter out of the air. The numbers can range from 1 to 16, the higher the number the better the filter will do at removing smaller particulate out of indoor air (when an HVAC system is running). A lower MERV rated filter is going to be around MERV 4. This would be a filter like the EZ Flow filter, a basic filter designed to protect your system and very efficient. More commonly you will find MERV ratings of 5-13 on pleated style filters with the most common being a MERV 8 rating. A MERV 8 rated filter is the sweet spot for most homes and businesses. Very good at improving indoor air but not very restrictive so they are still very energy efficient. At the high end you find MERV 13 to 16 rated pleated filters.
HEPA stands for High Efficiency Particulate Air filters. HEPA filters are very efficient at improving indoor air quality. You usually don't see a MERV rating applied to a HEPA filter but for comparison they would range from a MERV 17-20 if they were tested. HEPA filters meet standards that remove at least 99.97% of airborne particles down to the size of 0.3 microns. HEPA filters are typically used in hospitals or advanced clean rooms. You see the term often on indoor air purifiers or vacuum filters. In a typical HVAC system you will find MERV rated filters more often when compared to a true HEPA filter.
We work with AAF Flanders to provide true HEPA filtration. HEPA filters have many components from frame type, gaskets, clips, media, etc. and are built to very specific specifications depending on the application. If you would like more information regarding HEPA filtration please reach out to customer service and we would be happy to answer any questions.
If you're thinking about improving your indoor air quality, we can work with you and your HVAC professional to find the best filter for your situation.