What is the Difference Between a MERV 11 and a MERV 16 Air Filter?

Air filters are an essential part of any home heating and cooling system. They help to keep the air clean and safe by trapping particles that can cause health problems. The MERV rating of an air filter indicates its ability to capture particles of different sizes.


ratings range from 1 to 16, with higher ratings trapping smaller particles more effectively.

In general, filters with a MERV rating of 16 or lower are suitable for residential, commercial, and general hospital use. The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) uses particle size to classify MERV values. Filters with a MERV value of 5-8 are considered low-efficiency filters, while those with a MERV value of 13-16 are considered high-efficiency filters. Low-efficiency filters can trap particles such as dust and pollen, while high-efficiency filters can trap mold spores, pet dander, bacteria, tobacco smoke, and burned wood.

The calculations indicate that if you want the best air quality, you should buy a filter in the MERV 13-16 category. However, it is important to note that these filters are more restrictive than lower MERV rated filters and may need to be changed more often. Failure to replace the filter regularly can result in poor air quality and can cause the system to work harder than necessary. It is important to choose the right filter for your home and family.

The right filter will help to keep your home safe and your air clean. It is also important to remember to change the filter regularly in order to maintain good air quality and keep your system running efficiently.