MERV 8 air filters are a popular choice for residential buildings due to their affordability and ability to provide higher-than-average air filtration. These filters are capable of trapping particles that exist in an ordinary home, such as dust, pollen, hairspray, mold, bacteria, pet dander and more. They are also good pleated filters that perform significantly better than cheap fiberglass filters, but are still economical. MERV 8 filters allow good air flow and do not burden residential air conditioning systems.
When it comes to choosing the right air filter for your home, it's important to understand the MERV ratings and the differences between them. The EPA states that a MERV 8 filter is capable of capturing 20% or more of particles from 1.0 to 3.0 microns in size and 70% or more of particles from 3.0 to 10.0 microns in size. This means that items such as pet dander, smoke, and some bacteria in the air are likely to pass through a MERV 8 filter. MERV 8 filters are the most commonly used in homes because they are affordable, do not restrict airflow, and can trap contaminants commonly found in homes.
However, it's important to note that the MERV 8 filter can trap dander from just one pet, so if you have more than one pet living in your home, you might want to opt for an air filter with a higher MERV rating. MERV 14, 15 and 16 filters are typically used in specialized applications where high-level filtration is required, such as hospital operating rooms and other environments where it is crucial to capture even the smallest particles, including bacteria and viruses. MERV 11 filters are also more efficient but they're more expensive and can restrict airflow to the point of being incompatible with some air conditioning systems. In most cases, MERV 8 filters are better for your home but the air filter that best suits your home is chosen based on the state of your home at the time.
If there are no pets, people with health problems in the home, or excessive outdoor pollution, the MERV 8 is probably sufficient. However, if you have multiple pets or people with allergies or asthma living in your home, you may want to consider a higher MERV rating filter for better air quality. When it comes to choosing an air filter for your home, it's important to understand the different MERV ratings and what they mean for your indoor air quality. Knowing which filter is right for your home can help ensure good indoor air quality for you and your family.