Everything You Need to Know About MERV Ratings

MERV, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, is an industry-standard rating system used to rate air filters based on effectiveness and efficiency, and can be used to compare filters made by different manufacturers.

A MERV rating explains how effectively a filter traps the small particles you don’t want circulating throughout your home or work environment. MERV ratings are based on a scale of 1 - 20 with 1 being the lowest efficiency and 20 being the highest.

Air filter performance is rated by factors like airflow rate, resistance, and particle count. The more effectively an air filter collects tiny, unseen particles, the higher the MERV rating it will have.

The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter is and the higher the resistance it has.

It's important to remember that just because an air filter has a higher MERV rating it doesn't necessarily mean it's better or right for your application.

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MERV Rating Levels

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MERV 1-4

Filters within this rating range can trap particulate larger than 10.0 microns and are generally used for residential applications to capture pollen, dust, pet fur, carpet fibers, and more.

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MERV 5-8

This air filter range traps particles from 10.0 - 3.0 microns and can be used for commercial and industrial applications to control mold spores, pollen, dust mites, and dander.

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MERV 9-12

Air filters rated MERV 9-12 capture particulate from 3.0 - 1.0 microns including weld fumes, vehicle exhaust, lead dust, larger bacteria, and more.

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MERV 13-16

This range of filters controls particles from 1.0 to 0.3 microns including bacteria, dust, smoke, powders, oil droplets, and more.

MERV 13-16 air filters are using in environments that require surgical-grade clean air such as hospitals, labs, and other clean air environments.

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MERV 17-20

This air filter group collects contaminants as small as 0.3 and smaller and are used for applications like pharmaceutical manufacturing and clean rooms to capture sea salt, smoke, viruses, and carbon dust.

When it comes to air filters, you should always follow regulations and manufacturer manuals. For more information about MERV Ratings, or to find out which air filter is right for your space, get in touch with our specialists.

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