When it comes to air filtration, the Merv 8 filter is known to be effective at trapping contaminants such as pollen, dust mites, sawdust, mold spores, and lint. However, it is not as effective at capturing particles smaller than 0.3 microns, such as pet dander, smoke, and some airborne bacteria. This means that if you have allergies, pets, or live near smoke pollution, a Merv 13 filter is the ideal choice. The MERV rating system is designed to help us determine the most effective and efficient air filter options for heating and cooling systems and more.
MERV 1-4 filters are virtually ineffective because they only capture the largest particles and are considered the minimum threshold for air filtration. Medium MERV filters provide much more filtration than basic MERV 1-4 filters with central air systems, but they can only capture air pollutants of 3.0 microns or greater. For most homes, a Merv 8 filter is not enough to ensure clean air quality. Harmful viruses and bacteria will continue to circulate in your home, as will smoke and other forms of air pollution.
To further increase indoor air quality, household air purifiers employing HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters can remove 99.97 percent of mold, pollen, bacteria and other particles as small as 0.3 microns. Upgrading to a Merv 13 filter is both cost-effective and the most efficient option to ensure clean, quality air for your indoor space. The higher the MERV rating of a filter, the less dust particles and other contaminants can pass through it. It's best to comply with oven manufacturer's recommendations or consult an HVAC professional to determine exactly which MERV rating is best for your specific system.
However, for particles common in home air, such as pet dander and mold spores, a MERV 13 air filter is an excellent choice for many homeowners. A higher MERV rating often means lower airflow, which can make the system work harder and use more energy to do its job. Therefore, it is important to consider all factors when selecting an air filter for your home or business.