MERV 11 is effective in controlling dust, pollen, dust mites and pet dander. Applicable to most commercial buildings, residences, industrial workplaces and paint booths. This range of MERV values can begin to trap particles in the 1.0-3.0 micron range. In this range, we begin to see pet dander, dust that damages the lungs, and trapped self-emissions.
Filters in this range can trap more than 85% of particles with a size of 3.0-10.0 microns. A MERV 9 will trap less than 50% of particles with a size of 1.0-3.0 microns, the MERV 10 will stop up to 64%, the MERV 11 will get up to 79%, and the MERV 12 is capable of trapping up to 89%. For most homes and commercial buildings, filters with a MERV rating between 8 and 13 will sufficiently filter the air. The reason the pressure drop is so low for a fiberglass filter is because it is extremely porous and, as a result, ineffective at filtering.
If you're wondering what MERV rating your unit can handle, there are often a few simple steps you need to follow. This may not seem like a significant difference compared to the MERV 8 filter, but a MERV 11 is also better able to capture between 65% and 79% of the smallest particles. Designed by The Home Depot for brands sold in its stores, including Honeywell, this rating structure is very similar to the MERV rating. Even though pleated filters have a slightly larger initial pressure drop, it's not significant enough to cause any damage to your HVAC system, as long as you change filters regularly.
Filters with higher MERV ratings should be changed more frequently (at least every three months) to avoid restricted airflow that can reduce efficiency or even damage the system. This means that 81.5% of the dust particles introduced into the filter were successfully filtered out of the air. Filters with a MERV value 13-16 are the most restrictive and can trap the smallest particles, such as bacteria, tobacco smoke and burnt wood. If you use a higher MERV rating that traps more particles, you may need to change the filter more often.
Filters in the MERV 5-8 range can also trap particles with a size of 3.0-10.0 microns, but are more efficient in doing so. A MERV 11 filter traps all of that, plus pet dander, smoke, smog, and air from coughs and sneezes. If you're still not sure which MERV filter is best for your home, talk to an HVAC expert who can guide you to the right selection. This means that an oven filter with a lower rating would retain a lower percentage of debris and impurities compared to a filter with a higher rating.
These filters are slightly more restrictive than MERV 1-4 filters and have the ability to trap mold and pet dander spores along with dust and pollen. For most Canadian homes, oven filters with MERV ratings in this range are sufficient to filter most airborne impurities.