When it comes to air filters, MERV 11 and MERV 13 are two of the most popular options. But which one is better for your home? To answer this question, it's important to understand what MERV ratings are and how they work. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. It's a rating system used to measure the effectiveness of air filters in capturing particles of different sizes.
The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the filter is at trapping particles. MERV 11 filters have a particle arrest rate of around 90%, while MERV 13 filters have a particle arrest rate of around 98%. This means that MERV 13 filters are significantly more efficient than MERV 11 filters. If you want to use pleated filters and superior MERV filters, the only safe way to do this is to have a 5-6 inch media filter installed by a professional.
To keep MERV 8 filters running at full capacity, experts recommend changing them every 2-3 months. If your system can't handle the MERV ratings you need, keep in mind that there are always alternatives available to improve indoor air quality. When comparing the airflow capabilities of each, raising just two or three MERV rating levels can be a wise decision that improves air quality or a poor choice for the entire HVAC system. Using a MERV rating 13 filter is the best way to protect against bacteria that spread the virus, but you should also consider adding air quality solutions to your home.
Strict building codes and an increase in foot traffic generally mean that commercial properties must opt for a filter with a higher MERV rating. In general, filters with higher MERV ratings capture higher percentages of particles, as well as smaller particles. That means things like pet dander, smoke, and some airborne bacteria are likely to pass through the MERV 8 filter. So if you're looking for an air filter that will provide superior air quality in your home, then MERV 13 is the way to go.
It's more efficient at trapping particles and will help keep your home free from dust, allergens, and other contaminants.