MERV is an acronym for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. Or in English, “how well does your air filter work?” MERV ratings have a range from 1-16. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient at removing dust particles and other contaminants that exist in your air. The MERV scale was designed to represent a filter’s worst possible performance at removing odors and particles .3 to 10 microns in size which is microscopic!
Some of the common things that filters remove from the air are pollen,textile and carpet fibers, dust mites, mold, dust,spores, pet dander, bacteria and tobacco smoke. Most homes can adequately remove airborne contaminants with a filter rated MERV 7-12 but for people with bad allergies or an acute sense of smell MERV 13-16 can also be used in the residential setting to maximize the removal of contaminants from the air.