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What Is The MERV Rating on AC Filters?

MERV means Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) and is an industry standard that measures the overall effectiveness of air filters. As the MERV rating increases the finer the filtration becomes. With finer filtration, fewer airborne contaminates & dust particles are allowed to pass through the filter. The most common "Airborne Contaminates" that these filters are tested against tend to include pollen, dust mites, mold spores, dust, pet dander, bacteria and tobacco smoke.

What Is Dust Spot Efficiency

Efficiency is the ability of a device to remove particulate material from an air stream, by measuring the concentration of the particulate material upstream and downstream of the device. Efficiency in the ASW 52.1-92 Standard test method, is a measure of the ability of a filter to remove the staining portion of atmospheric dust from the test air. This is officially termed Atmospheric Dust Spot Efficiency. A high dust spot efficiency results in a high resistance to staining.

What Is Air Filter Arrestance?

Arrestance is a measure of the ability of an air filtration device to remove a synthetic dust from the air. The higher the arrestance a filter contains, the greater ability to remove large particles including dirt, dust, lint, and hair. ASHRAE arrestance is a measure of the ability of a device to remove ASHRAE dust from test air.

MERV Ratings Chart

Good
Filtered Airborne Contaminants
Pollen
Pet Dander
Dust / Lint
Dust Mite
Rating Particle Size Removal Arrestance Dust-Spot Efficiency Percent
MERV 5 - 80 - 85% <20%
MERV 6 - 80 - 85% <20%
MERV 7 - >90% 25 - 30%
MERV 8 - >90% 25 - 30%

Typical Applications

  • Paint Booth Inlet
  • Industrial Workplace
  • Standard Residential
  • Standard Commercial Buildings

Most Common Filter Types

  • Poly Disposable Throwaway
  • Cube / Pocket Filters
  • Pleated Filters
Better
Filtered Airborne Contaminants
Pollen
Pet Dander
Dust / Lint
Dust Mite
Mold Spores
Smog
Odor
Rating Particle Size Removal Arrestance Dust-Spot Efficiency Percent
MERV 9 - >90% 40 - 45%
MERV 10 - >95% 50 - 55%
MERV 11 - >95% 60 - 65%
MERV 12 - >95% 70 - 75%

Typical Applications

  • Better Residential
  • Better Commercial Buildings
  • Hospital Laboratories

Most Common Filter Types

  • Bag Filters
  • Pleated Filters
  • Rigid Style Box Filters
Best
Filtered Airborne Contaminants
Pollen
Pet Dander
Dust / Lint
Dust Mite
Mold Spores
Smog
Odor
Smoke
Bacteria
Allergens
Rating Particle Size Removal Arrestance Dust-Spot Efficiency Percent
MERV 13 <75 >98% 89 - 90%
MERV 14 75 - 85 >98% 90 - 95%
MERV 15 85 - 95 - >95%
MERV 16 >95 - -

Typical Applications

  • Superior Residential (M13 Only)
  • Superior Commercial Buildings
  • Hospital Inpatient Care
  • General Surgery
  • Smoking Lounges

Most Common Filter Types

  • Bag Filters
  • Pleated Filters
  • Rigid Style Box Filters
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