Know Your Air Filter’s MERV Rating

Do you know your air filter’s MERV rating? Do you even know what a MERV rating is?

We have to admit, we didn’t…but now we’re going to be on the lookout for this rating that’s used by the air filtration industry to measure the ability of an air filter to reduce the amount of dust, pollen, dander and other small particles in your air. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and the higher the MERV number, the smaller the particles that filter will be able to capture and remove from your home’s air.

“Many people suffer from allergies and do not realize that they can take control of their indoor air quality by using a high efficiency air filter. MERV 13 air filters are the highest recommended air filtration level for most residential applications. It is especially important that allergy sufferers have at least a MERV 8 filter. In fact, at, we don’t even sell filters with less than a MERV 8 rating!” says Cartier King, Air Filtration Specialist certified by the National Air Filtration Association. provides this guide to the MERV numbers:

  • MERV 1 to 7 Filters. These filters provide minimal filtration. They are typically disposable fiberglass or synthetic panel filters within a cardboard frame and have to be replaced quite frequently.
  • MERV 8 Filters. This range of air filters will reduce pollen, pet dander, dust and other contaminants, as small as 3.0 microns. These air filters are good for capturing dust and mold spores.
  • MERV 11 Filters. Constructed with deep pleated, boxed media or bag filters, these are some of the most efficient air filters used in homes and commercial buildings. They increase efficiency and reduce allergens.
  • MERV 13 to 16 Air Filters. With the ability to trap up to 98% of airborne contaminants such as bacteria, tobacco smoke, cooking oil and droplet nuclei, these air furnace filters will capture allergens as small as 0.3 microns that trigger allergic reactions.

Remember to change your air filters every 3 to 6 months!