Which MERV Rating is Best for Your Home: 11 or 12?

When it comes to air filters, the MERV rating system is designed to help us determine the most effective and efficient options for heating and cooling systems. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, and it ranges from 1 to 20, with 1 being the lowest level of filtration and 20 being the highest. A MERV 9 will trap less than 50% of 1.0-3.0 micron size particles, MERV 10 will stop up to 64%, MERV 11 will get up to 79%, and MERV 12 is capable of trapping up to 89%. MERV 12 air filter traps about 89% of particles from 1 to 3 microns and more than 90% of sizes from 3 to 10 microns.

MERV 11 air filters are slightly more expensive than a standard filter, but paying a few dollars more per filter is generally worth the extra efficiency. Some situations warrant a higher MERV 11 rating. If someone has an allergy or respiratory problem, choose a MERV 11 air filter or even a MERV 13 air filter. The same applies to homes with smokers or pets, as MERV 11 air filters better eliminate odors.

Some of the best air filters for allergies have additional features, such as a carbon layer to eliminate odors. They are suitable for people who have pets or other sources of odors in their homes. These MERV 11 filters will capture particles such as fine dust, pollen and pet dander. Perfect for helping prevent seasonal allergies. Best Filter Blocks most mold spores, smog, fine dust and pet dander.

ASHRAE recommends MERV 6 or higher. U. S. Department of Energy recommends MERV 13 LEED recommends MERV 8 as a minimum. Filter technology has grown by leaps and bounds over the years, and understanding the different MERV ratings can help you make an informed decision when selecting an air filter for your home.

Although these issues can be fixed, you don't need to buy the air filter with the highest MERV rating. However, a high MERV rating on an air cleaner generally means that the filter is thicker and your HVAC system will have to work harder to circulate air throughout the house. Meanwhile, air filters with a MERV 14 rating or higher are designed for commercial HVAC systems that can handle the coarsest filter material. In simple terms, it sets the minimum amount of particles a filter must capture to obtain a specific MERV rating. Although confusing, MERV ratings can be your best friend when trying to figure out which oven filter best suits your needs. If your home's HVAC system is unable to handle MERV 13, opt for a filter with the next highest possible rating. However, if you are concerned about outdoor air pollution, family members with respiratory problems, pets are in the house, then a higher MERV rating might be a good idea. Designed by the American Society of Heating, Cooling and Air Conditioning Engineers in 1987, the MERV rating system was designed specifically for central HVAC systems.

It's best to comply with furnace manufacturer's recommendations or consult an HVAC professional to determine exactly which MERV rating is best for your specific system. In particular, using an air cleaner with a MERV rating that is too high can damage the compressor, heat exchanger, and air conditioner coil. Well, if you're worried about the effects of inhaling fine air particles, that's another reason to choose a MERV 11 air filter instead of a MERV 8 air filter. Air filters with higher MERV ratings can filter more, but the thickness of the filter material can restrict airflow. The higher the MERV rating of a filter, the less dust particles and other contaminants can pass through it.

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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