Does a Merv 8 Filter Restrict Airflow?

Medium Efficiency Filters (MERV) are designed to provide average quality air filtration with ratings between 5 and 8.These filters are usually made of polyester and have a higher resistance to airflow and a better ability to stop dust. The short answer is yes, but it's not really a problem, except in extreme circumstances. Most modern HVAC systems have no problem working with higher Merv filters, which is why millions of homeowners depend on them. The main risk of high-efficiency air filters comes from the fact that they are not modified for long periods of time.

If you keep abreast of changing filters, you are unlikely to experience any filter related issues with your HVAC system. In general, a filter with a higher Merv rating will reduce airflow. However, there are many other factors at play, such as the size of the filter and the type of fan motor in your HVAC system. Using an air filter with a MERV rating that is too high is as bad as using one that is too low. Air filters with higher MERV ratings can filter more, but the thickness of the filter material can restrict airflow.

Restricted airflow can decrease comfort, increase energy use, and accelerate wear and tear on HVAC components. In particular, using an air cleaner with a MERV rating that is too high can damage the compressor, heat exchanger, and air conditioner coil. A higher MERV rating means greater resistance, which means less airflow. When researching HVAC systems, airflow will increase a lot. This is because it is very important to the performance and longevity of your oven or your air handler.

Airflow is also the key to a comfortable home. Researchers found that airflow in the high MERV filters decreased by 7% and 11% in the two HVAC systems compared to the low MERV filters. Similarly, the medium MERV filters also showed a decrease in airflow relative to the low MERV filters, this time 3% and 8% lower in both systems. MERV 13 filters specialize in trapping tiny particles such as bacteria in the air and smoke. In addition to everything the Merv 8 and MERV 11 filters trap, the MERV 13 filters also trap tobacco smoke, fire smoke, contaminants in body fluids released by sneezing and coughing, and bacteria. MERV 5 to 8 consist of disposable pleated media filters.

Cost is approximately four times higher than MERV 1-4 spun glass fiber filters, but they have much better contaminant removal capabilities. MERV 13 filters are rarely used in residential homes, except for someone with extreme filtration needs, such as an immunocompromised person or someone receiving hospice care at home. Experts recommend that Merv 8 filters be changed every 2-3 months to keep them running at full capacity. While higher MERV ratings are the most effective for air quality, they can damage your HVAC system. In addition to everything that Merv 8 filters trap, MERV 11 filters trap mold spores, lead dust, welding fumes, car fumes, humidifier dust, and other machine fumes and emissions. One thing to keep in mind is that a MERV 11 air filter may need to be changed a little more often than a Merv 8 air filter.

It is recommended to change filters in this category every two to four weeks, which may be difficult for some to maintain. The higher the MERV rating on a filter, the less dust particles and other contaminants can pass through it. First, it takes time for the filter to charge sufficiently for a beneficial effect, so that everything that passes through the filter ends up in your system or in your home. However, ECMs are already very energy efficient, so on average they will consume less energy than a PSC, even with a dirty filter. They may seem to be almost the same but Merv 8 air filters and MERV 11 air filters have a few different differences.

The higher the MERV rating on a filter means greater resistance which results in less airflow causing your HVAC system to work harder. Coils motors and blowers can also be easily clogged by weak filters creating greater fan usage resulting in higher energy costs. All filters have a finite capacity and the staged filter sequence allows cheaper filters to be sacrificed to preserve the most valuable final filter.

Clara Staino
Clara Staino

Hardcore beer nerd. Typical internet specialist. Devoted zombie buff. Total twitter scholar. Freelance social media practitioner. Infuriatingly humble travel buff.

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