When it comes to air filters, the MERV rating system is the standard for measuring the effectiveness of a filter. MERV 8, 11 and 13 are the most common ratings, and each has its own advantages and disadvantages. To determine which one is best for your home, it's important to consider how well an air filter traps particulates, as well as other factors. MERV 8 filters have a particle retention of around 80%, while MERV 11 filters have a particle arrest of just over 90%.
MERV 13 filters have a particle arrest of around 98%, making them significantly more efficient. In general, MERV 11 is better than MERV 8, and MERV 13 could be called the best among these three. When deciding which MERV rating is right for your oven or air handler, it's important to consider your circumstances.
MERV 11 air filtersare a little more expensive than a standard filter, but paying a few extra dollars per filter is usually worth it for the added efficiency.
If someone in your home has an allergy or respiratory problem, using a MERV 11 air filter or even a MERV 13 air filter is recommended. The same goes for households with smokers or pets, as these filters are better at eliminating odors. In operating rooms and other spaces where absolute cleanliness is required, filters with a MERV rating of 17 to 20 are used. The main difference between MERV 11 and MERV 13 filter is that the latter includes stronger protection against airborne bacteria and viruses that spread through airborne droplets.
Air filters with higher MERV ratings may filter more, but the thickness of the filter material may restrict airflow.Filters with a MERV 13-16 value are the most restrictive and can trap the smallest particles, such as bacteria, tobacco smoke and wood burning. However, using an air filter with too high of a MERV rating can damage the compressor, heat exchanger, and air conditioner coil. Experts recommend changing MERV 8 filters every 2 to 3 months to keep them running at full capacity. Since MERV 11 filters have denser fibers than MERV 8 filters, they tend to fill with trapped debris more quickly.When it comes to choosing the best air filter for your home, it's important to consider all factors.
MERV 8, 11 and 13 are all good options depending on your needs and budget. If you have allergies or respiratory problems in your home, it's best to opt for a higher MERV rating such as 11 or 13.However, if you're looking for an economical option that still provides good filtration, then MERV 8 may be the right choice.