What is the Difference Between a MERV 8 and a MERV 13 Air Filter?

When it comes to air filtration, there are many options available. One of the most popular is the MERV rating system, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This system is used to measure the effectiveness of air filters in capturing particles from the air. The higher the MERV rating, the more particles the filter can capture.

But what is the difference between a MERV 8 and a MERV 13 filter?A MERV 8 filter is an ideal choice for an average home. It's much better than fiberglass filters and is still quite reasonably priced. This type of filter will be able to trap anything larger than 3 micrometers, which is enough to capture pollen, dust, and common debris. It's not as effective at trapping small virus-sized particles as a HEPA can. A MERV 13 filter is a step up from a MERV 8 filter and captures more particles than a typical MERV 8 filter.

It will trap less than 75% of air particles that are 0.3-1.0 microns in size (coronavirus measures 0.1 microns). The difference between MERV 8 and MERV 13 rated filters is reduced to two micrometers. And while that may not seem like a big difference, it's important to consider how things work at the molecular level. The main benefit when comparing a MERV 11 vs. a MERV 13 filter is that the latter includes stronger protection against airborne bacteria and viruses that spread through droplets in the air.

MERV 11 is better, and MERV 13 could be called the best filtration among these three. Of course, it's important to consider how well an air filter traps particulates, but there are other factors to think about when answering the question: What's the best MERV? The MERV values 8, 11, or 13 could be the right MERV values for your furnace or air treatment system, depending on your circumstances. The higher the filter rating, the smaller the particles it will capture, and the higher the percentage of particles captured. Low-efficiency filters are normally found within MERV 1-4, and high-efficiency filters are from MERV 13 and above. The MERV scale is not linear; the difference between a MERV 6 and a MERV 8 is almost double in terms of percentage of particles captured.

Keep in mind that as the MERV rating increases, the filter becomes more restrictive and more pressure and energy will be needed to expel air. MERV 13 filters are rarely used in residential homes, except for people with extreme filtration needs, such as an immunosuppressed person or someone receiving home palliative care. The MERV rating you need depends on several factors, such as your specific indoor air quality issues, climate system compatibility, and recommendations from professionals. Maintaining indoor air quality in a business or work environment is critical, not only for comfort but also for the health and safety of customers and employees. What seems to be a small difference can affect the outcome of life or death, which is why centers such as hospitals and surgical centers use filters with higher MERV filtration rates. In addition to everything MERV 8 filters trap, MERV 11 filters trap mold spores, lead dust, welding fumes, car fumes, humidifier dust, and fumes and emissions from other machines. The rating is awarded based on a test method developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and is useful for determining which air filter will work best for your heating and air conditioning system and your indoor air quality objectives. When choosing the right oven filter for your home, the MERV air filter rating is a good starting point.

Filters with a MERV rating of 13 to 16 generally remove contaminants when there is a high need for clean air. Although the scale ranges from MERV 1 to 20, most furnace filter retailers only sell filters between MERV 8 and 13. MERV 11 filters are a great option if you need to take your filtration to the next level without restricting airflow too much. What you probably already know is that the MERV rating is a measure of how effectively the filter removes materials from the air that passes through it. When you balance all of these issues, you'll find the sweet spot in the MERV 8, MERV 11, and MERV 13 spectrum. The main risk of high-efficiency air filters comes from the fact that they are not modified for long periods of time.