When it comes to air filters, the MERV rating system is the standard for measuring the efficiency of a filter. MERV ratings range from 1 to 16, with higher numbers indicating a higher level of filtration. MERV 9-12 filters are the most popular for residential use, and they offer a good balance between efficiency and cost. A MERV 9 filter will trap less than 50% of particles of size 1.0-3.0 microns, while a MERV 10 will stop up to 64%.
MERV 11 filters can capture up to 79%, and MERV 12 filters are capable of trapping up to 89%. The MERV 12 air filter is the most efficient of the four, trapping about 89% of particles from 1 to 3 microns and more than 90% of sizes from 3 to 10 microns. MERV 11 filters are more efficient than MERV 8 filters because they can capture smaller particles, making them a great option for homes with pets or those looking for improved air quality. If someone has an allergy or respiratory problem, a MERV 11 air filter or even a MERV 13 air filter is recommended.
The same applies to homes with smokers or pets, as MERV 11 air filters better eliminate odors. It's important to note that a MERV rating higher than 13 may adversely affect some HVAC systems, so it's best to verify that your unit can support a higher MERV rating before purchasing. In conclusion, both MERV 11 and 12 filters offer superior filtration compared to air filters with lower MERV ratings. However, if you're looking for the highest level of filtration available, then the MERV 12 filter is the best choice.
It offers excellent protection against pet dander, dust mites, self-emissions, and dust that damages the lungs.