When it comes to air filtration, a MERV 13 filter is a step in the right direction. It captures more particles than a typical MERV 8 filter, but it's not as effective at capturing small virus-sized particles as a HEPA filter. A MERV 13 will trap less than 75% of air particles that are 0.3-1.0 microns in size (coronavirus is 0.1 microns). It's important to note that higher MERV ratings indicate better air filtration and are recommended for certain groups of people.
However, filters with higher ratings should be changed more frequently (at least every three months) to avoid restricted airflow that can cause the system to operate inefficiently or even damage it. Not all filters have a Merv rating, many of them are purchased at large stores. MERV ratings range from 1 to 20, with 1 being the lowest level of filtration and 20 being the highest. A higher MERV rating often means lower airflow, which can make the system work harder and use more energy to do its job.
A MERV 8 carbon filter will provide more than enough filtering of dust and allergens and will filter dozens of toxic gases that will pass directly through a MERV 13 filter. An air filter with a higher MERV rating can block microscopic particles, such as smoke molecules, due to its tighter mesh fabric. Filter technology has grown by leaps and bounds over the years, and MERV ratings are designed to help us determine the most effective and efficient air filter options for heating and cooling systems and more. So, is a Merv 13 filter worth it? The answer depends on your needs and budget.