A Merv 11 filter is an air filter that is designed to trap a wide range of air pollutants and irritants, including pet dander, smoke, smog, and even air from coughs and sneezes. This type of filter is especially beneficial for those who have children or pets in their home, as well as those who suffer from allergies. Merv 11 filters have a higher efficiency rating than standard filters, meaning they are able to capture finer particles and remove more pollutants from the air. However, it is important to consider whether or not a Merv 11 filter is too powerful for your needs.
Generally speaking, filters with higher MERV ratings are better at trapping small particles than those with lower ratings. Merv 11 filters are more expensive than standard filters, but the extra cost is usually worth it for the added efficiency. Anything higher than a Merv 11 is typically used in commercial or domestic homes with family members who suffer from respiratory problems, as well as homes with smokers or pets, since these filters are better at eliminating odors. Filters with MERV ratings of 17 to 20 are often used in operating rooms and cleanrooms that require absolute cleanliness.
The MERV rating system makes it easier to compare filters with different ratings. For example, Merv 11 filters trap 65 to 79 percent of the average particles 1.0 to 3.0 microns in size, with an average particle size efficiency of 85 percent or better. This makes them superior to air filters with lower MERV ratings.