The Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) rating for an air filter is a measure of how effectively it prevents dust and other contaminants from passing through the filter into the air stream. Developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers in 1987, the MERV rating scale offers a balance between particle filtering and energy efficiency. The MERV scale ranges from 1 to 20, with higher ratings trapping small particles more effectively than lower ratings. Filters with a MERV rating of 8 to 13 are usually high-end filters for domestic use or high-quality commercial filters, while anything above a MERV 13 rating is typically used in cleanrooms, operating rooms, or radioactive filters.
The worst filter performance in all three particle sizes during each of the 6 cycles is used to determine the MERV rating of the filters. The higher MERV rating means that an air filter will capture the most dust, while the lower rating means that a filter will capture the least amount of dust. When choosing an air filter, it's important to understand how the MERV rating table works. A MERV 8 oven filter is perfect for the average home, as it is far superior to fiberglass filters or synthetic panels.
However, if someone in your household suffers from allergies, you may want to opt for a higher MERV rating. The MERV system was designed to help improve quality in the air filter industry and to help with efficiency in the production of the air filters themselves. With this knowledge, you can make an informed decision when selecting an air filter for your home or business.