What is the Best MERV Filter for Your Home?

When it comes to selecting the best MERV filter for your home, it's important to understand the MERV rating system. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Report Value and is a measure of how well a filter removes particles from the air. Generally speaking, a MERV rating of between 6 and 13 meets the needs of most residences, offering a good balance between air filtration, airflow and affordability. For residential use, a MERV 11 air filter isn't too tall.

Anything under a MERV 13 air filter should provide very efficient air purification in a home without affecting airflow. Meanwhile, air filters with a MERV 14 rating or higher are designed for commercial HVAC systems that can handle the coarsest filter material. MERV 17 to MERV 20 filters are commonly used in operating rooms, cleanrooms, and other settings that require absolute cleanliness. Using an air filter with a MERV rating higher than recommended by the manufacturer of your oven or air conditioner may impair its performance.

If you're trying to choose between a MERV 8 air filter and a MERV 11 air filter, here's what you need to know:A MERV 8 air filter will capture fewer particles than a MERV 11 air filter, but it will also last longer before needing to be replaced. Pleated filters that are MERV 8 to 13, unlike fiberglass, can effectively filter small particles and decrease pressure drop. However, there is evidence that MERV filters 11, 12 and even 13 have worked well in residential systems for years. If you can't find Nordic Pure in your size, or if you prefer to buy and buy a new filter in a store right away, Honeywell's FPR 9 filters and Filtrete's MPR 1500 filters are similar and widely available in retail stores. Overall, the best MERV rating for a home is between 8 and 10. If you select an air filter with a MERV 13 rating, it can last up to six months before you need to replace it.

One thing to keep in mind is that a MERV 11 air filter may need to be changed a little more frequently than a MERV 8 air filter.