Filters are a key component of residential and commercial HVAC systems. Not only do they remove airborne particulates, but also improve indoor air quality and maintain the health of the space. However, when it comes to choosing between MERV and HEPA filters, there are several differences that you should compare. Take a closer look at the following to better understand how these products work. 



The first thing to know is that MERV is the actual rating scale for these types of filters. It encompasses a range of one to 20, with each product offering unique capabilities. For example, MERV one through four is a material that can capture pollen, dust and textile fibers. Those that are slightly higher, such as five through eight, will have an easier time at removing mold spores and furniture polish fumes from the atmosphere. 

If you’re in a home that experiences regular exposure to tobacco smoke, then you’ll want to consider MERV 13 through 16. These can also eliminate airborne bacteria and diseases that transfer via respiratory droplets. MERV 17 and higher is the most effective against viruses and protects against all microscopic allergens. 


HEPA, or high-efficiency particulate air, is a single type of filter. It’s made to capture approximately 99.7% of all airborne particulates, including those that measure only 0.3 micrometers. This makes them a top choice for operating rooms, areas that require total sterilization and other professional uses. 

They don’t have a MERV rating because they exceed the specifications set by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). If they were to be given a number, then they would likely fall in the MERV 17 and higher category. Keep in mind that the mesh in these filters is so fine that it takes the air a little longer to work its way through. This could cause a drop in circulation for residential properties and end up overworking the HVAC system. 


If you’re looking to increase indoor air quality, reach out to Overcashier & Horst Heating and Air Conditioning in Sylvania, OH. They have more than 60 years of experience and offer an assortment of heating and cooling services. Their HVAC technicians are highly trained and make themselves available 24/7 for emergency repair. Call (419) 841-3333 to schedule an appointment or visit their website for additional information on their heating repair services.