Can I Replace Merv 11 with Merv 12? - An Expert's Guide

Learn if you can replace your Merv 11 air filter with Merv 12 air filter and what factors you should consider before making the switch.

Can I Replace Merv 11 with Merv 12? - An Expert's Guide

When it comes to air filters, the MERV rating is an important factor to consider. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and it is a measure of the filter's ability to capture particles of different sizes. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter is at trapping particles. MERV 12 filters are very efficient, trapping 80 to 89 percent of average particles from 1.0 to 3.0 microns, with an average particle size efficiency of 90 percent or better.

This makes them a great choice for people who suffer from allergies or respiratory problems, as well as households with smokers or pets. But is it possible to replace a Merv 11 filter with a Merv 12 filter? The answer is yes, but there are some things to consider before making the switch. First, a Merv 11 filter traps about 79% of particles 1 to 3 microns in size and more than 90% from 3 to 10 microns. A Merv 12 filter will trap slightly more particles in this range, but it may also require more frequent replacement due to its higher efficiency.

Second, if your HVAC system has a permanent split condenser fan, a higher MERV rated air filter will interfere with it and cause lower airflow. This means that using an air filter with a MERV rating that is too high can be as bad as using an air filter that is too low. Finally, if you decide to switch from a Merv 11 to a Merv 12, you should also consider the other MERV ratings available. A Merv 13 filter will trap less than 75% of 0.3-1.0 micron particles, while a Merv 14, Merv 15, and Merv 16 will trap up to 84%, 94%, and 95% respectively.

In conclusion, replacing a Merv 11 filter with a Merv 12 can be beneficial in certain situations, such as households with pets or people suffering from allergies or asthma. However, it is important to consider the other MERV ratings available and make sure that the higher rating won't interfere with your HVAC system's airflow. By taking all of these factors into account, you can make an informed decision about whether or not replacing your Merv 11 filter with a Merv 12 is the right choice for your home.