What does MERV ratings mean? I’m glad you asked!
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 rating is the more efficient the filter will be in trapping airborne particles. Another consideration is air flow through 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: