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What does MERV or MERV Rating mean?

Your filters MERV Rating is a good way to help judge the effectiveness of the filter. MERV means Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value which was developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioner Engineers - ASHRAE. MERV values vary from 1 to 16. The higher the MERV value is the value the more efficient the filter will be in trapping airborne particles. Another consideration is air flow through the your HVAC system. Leaving a dirty air filter in place or using a filter that is too restrictive may result in low air flow and possibly cause the system to malfunction.

ASHRAE recommends MERV 6 or higher
US Department of Energy recommends MERV 13
LEED recommends MERV 8 at a minimum.

See the chart below for filter MERV descriptions.


Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values - MERV ratings

 

MERV Value

The filter will trap
Average Particle
Size Effiency
0.3 - 1.0 Microns

The filter will trap
Average Particle
Size Effiency
1.0 - 3.0 Microns

The filter will trap
Average Particle
Size Effiency
3 - 10 Microns

Types of things
these filters
will trap
MERV 1
 - -Less than 20%
Pollen, Dust mites,
Standing Dust,
Spray Paint Dust,
Carpet Fibers
MERV 2
 - -Less than 20%
MERV 3
 - -Less than 20%
MERV 4
 - -Less than 20%
MERV 5
 - - 20% - 34%
Mold Spores,
Hair Spray,
Fabric Protector,
Cement dust
MERV 6
 - - 35% - 49%
MERV 7
 - - 50% - 69%
MERV 8
 - - 70% - 85%
MERV 9
 - Less than 50%
85% or betterHumidifier Dust,
Lead Dust,
Auto Emissions,
Milled Flour
MERV 10 - 50% - 64%
85% or better
MERV 11-65% - 79%
85% or better
MERV 12-80% - 89%
90% or better
MERV 13Less than 75%
90% or better
90% or betterBacteria,
Most Tobacco
Smoke,
Proplet Nuceli (sneeze)
MERV 1475% - 84%
90% or better90% or better
MERV 1585% - 94%
90% or better90% or better
MERV 1695% or better90% or better90% or better

Need furnace filters or humidifier water pads.

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