Is MERV 13 Better Than MERV 11?

MERV 11 oven filters have a particle arrest rate of just over 90%, while MERV 13 HVAC filters boast a particle arrest rate of around 98%. This makes the latter significantly more efficient. The main benefit of using a MERV 13 filter instead of a MERV 11 is that it provides stronger protection against airborne bacteria and viruses that spread through airborne droplets. So, what is a Merv rating? It's a measure of how efficient an air filter is at filtering particles of certain sizes.

The higher the MERV rating, the less dust particles and other contaminants can pass through it. This may not seem like a significant difference compared to the MERV 8 filter, but a MERV 11 is also better able to capture between 65% and 79% of the smallest particles. The worst percentage of the six tests is selected as the official measure used to determine the MERV rating of a filter. For most homes and commercial buildings, filters with a MERV rating between 8 and 13 will sufficiently filter the air. However, there are some differences between MERV 8 air filters and MERV 11 air filters.

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. Filters with a MERV rating greater than 13 are tightly woven to capture potentially harmful contaminants. A higher MERV rating often means lower airflow, which can make the system work harder and use more energy to do its job. Therefore, filters that are above 13 in their MERV rating can filter particles closer to the 0.3 micron size. One thing to keep in mind is that a MERV 11 air filter may need to be changed a little more frequently than a MERV 8 air filter. In these cases, a MERV 11 air filter can provide additional benefits and capture a wider range of particles that would pass through a MERV 8 filter.

If you use a higher MERV rated filter in your home, it could restrict airflow, making it difficult for your HVAC to operate properly. If you're still not sure which MERV filter is best for your home, talk to an HVAC expert who can guide you to the right selection.

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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