What MERV Rating is Best for Your Home?

When it comes to air filtration, MERV 8 rated furnace filters are a popular and affordable choice for residential use. With a filtration efficiency of just over 80%, they offer superior performance compared to air filters with lower MERV ratings. But is this enough?In most cases, a MERV 8 air filter is more than adequate. However, if you're concerned about outdoor air pollution, family members with respiratory problems, or the presence of pets at home, then opting for a higher MERV rating might be a wise decision.

While a MERV 8 filter is perfect for most domestic applications, it usually isn't suitable for commercial buildings. The filter you choose will largely depend on the size of your space. The higher the MERV rating, the greater the excess pressure or air resistance that the filter can generate in your HVAC system. Using an air filter with a MERV rating that is too high is just as bad as using one that is too low. MERV ratings allow you to make comparisons between filters to determine which is the most efficient for your specific application in order to eliminate annoying contaminants in a home or workplace. Choosing the right MERV rating is an important decision in terms of total cost, air quality and product durability.

If your home's air conditioning system isn't capable of supporting the MERV 13, opt for a filter with the next highest possible rating. As the MERV classification system is standard, it makes it easier to compare filters with different MERV ratings. The minimum efficiency report value (MERV) indicates the efficiency of an air filter at its lowest performance level. For homes with smokers or pets, MERV 11 air filters are better at eliminating odors. When considering the airflow capacity of the MERV 8 compared to the MERV 11, raising just three rating levels can be a smart decision to turn the air filter into an effective purifier or a detrimental option for the entire air conditioning system. Remember that MERV 8 filters are medium-efficiency filters that can remove most particles, but they will need to be changed periodically to maintain performance.

Each air filter has its advantages and disadvantages, but both MERV 8 air filters and MERV 11 air filters are suitable for residential use.