MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. It measures how well your HVAC system’s air filter traps airborne particles.

The standard was created by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioner Engineers (or, ASHRAE, an acronym you don’t need to remember). MERV ratings measure the effectiveness of an air filter using a 1 to 16 scale. Basically, the higher the MERV value, the more efficient your filter will be in trapping airborne particles like allergens like dust, fibers, mold, and even bacteria.

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