What is a “MERV” Rating?

Do you know what ZIP in ZIP code stands for? What about SCUBA? You are probably familiar with these terms, even if you don’t know what the letters stand for. At the Darville Company, we know all about HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning), but we deal with other acronyms, too. One of those is the MERV Rating.


MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The MERV rating ranges from 1-16 and is assigned to HVAC filters. The number represents a scale that measures the filter’s ability to remove particles from the air moving through your system. These particles can be between .3 and 10 microns in size! We’re talking things like dust, pollen, cigar smoke, and some particles you can’t even see. Most home filters have a MERV rating between 7 and 12, while a filter in a place like a hospital is more likely to be rated between 13 and 16. 

It’s important to know that a HIGHER rating, is not necessarily a BETTER rating. What’s important is that the rating of the filter matches the output and the power of your HVAC. The unit and the filter need to work together to create maximum efficiency and comfort for you!


As with any kind of filter, your air filter needs to be changed occasionally. Filters with higher MERV ratings need to be changed a bit more frequently. You can change air filters on your own, but it may take some know-how to make sure you get the right one. The Darville Company has the experts you need to make sure you pick the right filter to fit your system. Give us a call today at 432-580-9675. The Darville Company is the higher standard!


If you’re still wondering, ZIP stands for Zone Improvement Plan, and SCUBA stands for Self-Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus. Give us a call today!

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