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If you’ve been considering installing a MERV 16 filter or have been told by an HVAC professional that you should, you’re probably wondering if it’s worth the cost.

In our opinion, MERV 16 filters are a great option for keeping your home’s air quality high and are recommended by the EPA.

That being said, you probably have questions about what the benefits of a MERV 16 filter are, so below, we’ll explain what MERV stands for, and why we suggest MERV 16 filters for Los Angeles homeowners.

What does MERV stand for?

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and is a measurement scale that indicates how effective an AC filter is. Residential AC filters range from MERV 1-16.

The higher the MERV rating, the higher the percentage of airborne particles a filter can successfully catch. All filters are tested for how well they catch particles based on the size of the particle.

The three size categories of particles include:

  • E1: 0.3 to 1.0 micrometers

  • E2: 1.0 to 3.0 micrometers

  • E3: 3.0 to 10.0 micrometers

As a reference for exactly how big a micrometer (µm) is, a strand of human hair is 20 µm in diameter.

To summarize, the higher the MERV rating, the smaller (and more) airborne particles the filter can catch, making it more effective.

Now that we’ve covered what MERV ratings mean, let’s meet our contender for the best MERV rating.

Why is MERV 11 the ideal filter rating?

MERV 11 filters are ideal because they are effective at catching small particles, while still allowing enough air to pass through the filter.

Using the size categories above, a MERV 11 filter can successfully catch65% of E2 particles (1.0 – 3.0 µm) and 85% of E3 particles (3.0 – 10.0 µm). Since they can catch bacteria, mold, and fungi, MERV 11 filters can prevent contaminants from circulating in your home’s air.

MERV 11 filters are especially useful if your household has …

  • Allergy sufferers: MERV 11 filters can trap pet dander, pollen, dust, and mold.

  • Heavy smokers: If your home is full of smoke, MERV 11 filters can catch the particles to help you breathe easier.

  • Elderly people (65+ years old) or young children (5 years old or below) with respiratory problems: If you live in a metropolitan area and experience heavy pollution that might irritate your lungs, MERV 11 filters can help improve your indoor air quality.

Should you buy a MERV 11 or 16 filter?

You might be wondering why we are suggesting a MERV 11 filter instead of a higher filter like a 14 or 16.

Generally speaking, it’s not recommended to go above an 11 MERV rating. The higher the MERV rating, the more tightly woven the filter is, which makes it difficult for air to pass through. If your AC doesn’t get enough airflow, it can cause something called a pressure drop, which can lead to high AC bills and AC damage.

What exactly are pressure drops? They occur when air is slow to enter your AC system and they can lead to:

  • Increased AC bills: If your AC can’t circulate enough air, your AC will have to work longer to produce the same amount of cooled air. Over time, this increased energy use means increased monthly utility bills.

  • AC Damage: Lack of airflow can cause your AC coils to freeze, which can damage your AC compressor. If your compressor becomes damaged, you could be looking at an expensive repair.

All-in-all, we recommend MERV 11 filters because they are effective at filtering out fine particles, but also allow sufficient airflow to your AC system.

Want a MERV 11 Filter? Send for SoCal Climate Control

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What others say


Mike sent his team out when our AC failed on the hottest day. It was a late Saturday afternoon and we were staring down having to wait until Monday at the earliest to get someone out. Mike immediately told me his team would be there within 90 minutes, and they showed up on a Saturday evening within the hour! Great service!

Mary Goldstein

Your Expert you send out was so honest with me he was so nice and professional he told me what to do that I didn’t need what I thought I did I’m so use to people coming out and try to take me to the cleaners specially I’m a Senior a Woman and living alone if I ever need any service done I will call you in a Heartbeat you r Technician Danny was super nice and very Professional I’m so glad I found this Company

Ondina Santa Maria

Angel and Robert were professional and installed a great system of the highest quality. It runs cold and quiet; what more could one ask for?? Great company; great staff; highest of quality and the highest of recommendation.

Joe Baratta

Great people. A year ago they replaced my duct work so called them when I needed a new furnace. Prompt, quick turn around and very professional. I totally recommend this company!! On the same day, they installed a tankless water heater. These peeps are amazing!

LuAnn Hughes

Overall, this was a very good experience. Customer service was great! The price was reasonable. Installation was scheduled 2 days after we purchased the HVAC system,. They installed the system in approximately 5 hours, and there was no mess. This a very professional operation

Joseph Pecot

I have been unbelievably impressed and overwhelmingly happy with the quality of the service provided by the team at So Cal Climate Control. From the initial estimate to the install and everything else, everyone we’ve had on this project has been so friendly, professional, and detail oriented. Highly recommend this company if you are looking for HVAC work.

Julie Matos

Just the best service, honest, reliable company!! Have a new unit, love it.. and have told many people to use this company. I had 3 bids when I was looking for unit and sooo happy I went with my gut feeling! The best, they come out and service too, extremely happy.

Jodi Lasky

In the 5 years that I have lived in my SF valley home, I have had my AC and furnace die on me. Mike and his team gave me a great deal on new HVAC system, and 2 years later the furnace. I work in the construction industry, and confirmed quality installation and equipment. They paid attention to the little things too, which carries over in my experience. SoCal did maintenance, and the technician Dave recommended improving the duct intakes and filter system. Cannot wait for my home to be colder than a polar bear’s toenails this summer.

David Sire

Wonderful company! From the moment they came to give us a bid for their services to the last minute they were here. Very professional, knowledgeable, and genuine. You will not spend any money you don’t need to spend, they are honest about the work your home needs done, but also honor whatever services you’d like to have done. They respond quickly, and promptly. We had our vents/registers cleaned, old ducts removed, & new ones installed, they took care of the whole process leaving nothing behind. Charles and his crew were great! Respectful, professional, and always on time. Would highly recommend.

Maria Hoz

So Cal Climate Control was Home Adviser’s first choice, so I called and talked to dispatch. I had a technician ( Chris) at my door within 2 hours.
He was professional, courteous and their price was reasonable.

James Fisher

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