Pleated air filters capture airborne contaminants more effectively than non-pleated air filters because the pleated filter media provides more surface area for trapping contaminants. These filters are commonly installed in HVAC systems in food and beverage, healthcare, hospitality, education, and industrial facilities to remove contaminants from the air stream and improve the quality of the air. They also prevent contaminants from building up on equipment and causing damage. These filters are designed to be discarded when they are spent. They typically have a MERV (minimum efficiency reporting value) rating of between 7 and 13. A filter's MERV rating measures how efficiently it removes contaminants from the air stream based on the size of the particles it can effectively capture. The higher the MERV rating is, the more effectively the filter traps small particles.