When it comes to choosing the right air filter for your home, it can be difficult to decide which MERV rating is best. MERV 11 oven filters have a particle retention of just over 90%, while MERV 13 HVAC filters have a particle arrest of around 98%. This makes the latter significantly more efficient. However, there are other factors to consider when selecting the best MERV rating for your oven or air handler.
A MERV 8 carbon filter will provide more than enough filtering of dust and allergens and will filter out dozens of toxic gases that will pass directly through a MERV 13 filter. A MERV 5 filter will trap up to 34%, MERV 6 will stop 35-49%, MERV 7 will prevent up to 69%, and MERV 8 will capture up to 85% of particulates. High-performance air filters that contain pleats create much more surface area for air to pass through, which can improve airflow and reduce strain on the system. If you are concerned about outdoor air pollution, family members with respiratory problems, or pets are in the house, then it would be a good idea to opt for a higher MERV rating.
The best practice is to change the MERV 11 filter every 1 to 3 months for maximum efficiency, depending on the season and the effort your HVAC team is working on. Generally speaking, anything under a MERV 13 air filter should provide very efficient air purification in a house without affecting airflow. If you install a filter higher than the one you've been using, for example, if you're switching from MERV 8 to MERV 11, watch your energy bills. In fact, researchers have found that while high-MERV filters can create a pressure drop, the impact is not significant unless the filter is laden with dirt.
In conclusion, when selecting an air filter for your home, it's important to consider all factors such as particle retention rate, pressure drop, and cost. Depending on your circumstances, any of the three ratings - MERV 8, 11 or 13 - could be the right choice for you.