What is the Difference Between a MERV 10 and a MERV 13 Air Filter?

The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) is a system used to measure the effectiveness of air filters. It evaluates the ability of an air filter to capture particles of different sizes, with higher ratings indicating better filtration. Other common classifications, such as FPR and MPR, follow the same principle. A higher MERV rating means that the filter can trap smaller air particles, but if the rating is too high (above MERV 1), it can increase system backpressure and block air flow.

In general, MERV 8 filters can filter 90% of the particles suspended in the air, MERV 11 can remove around 95%, and MERV 13 can block approximately 98%. A MERV 5 filter traps up to 34%, the MERV 6 does so between 35 and 49%, the MERV 7 avoids it up to 69% and the MERV 8 traps up to 85% of the particles. These cheap filters will have little impact on air flow at the cost of having minimal impact on air quality. As long as you have an air filter installed in the air return system, there is no way to prevent a pressure drop. Calculations indicate that if you want to have the best air quality, you should buy a MERV 13-16 filter and call it a day.

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