What is a MERV Rating on an Air Filter?

The Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) rating is an industry standard that measures the overall effectiveness of air filters. It is used to compare the performance of different filters and is based on a scale of 1 to 16. The higher the MERV rating, the more effective the filter is at trapping small particles such as dust, pollen, mold, and other irritants. Pleated filters with a MERV rating of 8 to 13 are particularly effective at filtering small particles and decreasing pressure drop. Filters with a MERV rating of 16 or lower are considered HVAC system grade filters for residential, commercial, and general hospital use.

Filters with higher MERV ratings are typically found in a hospital environment, where air sanitation is of the utmost importance. Using an air filter with a MERV rating higher than recommended by the manufacturer of your oven or air conditioner may impair its performance. However, if someone in your household suffers from allergies or asthma, you should consider buying a higher MERV air filter. MERV 13 air filters are very effective at removing a wider range of particles, such as smoke, bacteria and even some viruses.

They can help improve air quality in your home and reduce the risk of respiratory illnesses.