The Difference Between MERV 8 and MERV 13 Air Filters: What You Need to Know

When it comes to air filters, the MERV rating is an important factor to consider. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and is a measure of the effectiveness of a furnace filter. The scale ranges from MERV 1 to 20, but most furnace filter retailers only sell filters between MERV 8 and 13. A MERV 8 filter is a great solution for most homes, as it can capture particles larger than 3 micrometers, enough to trap pollen, dust and common waste. However, if you want and need higher air quality, a MERV 13 filter is the ideal choice.

A MERV 13 filter is a step up from a typical MERV 8 filter and can capture more particles. It's not as good at capturing small virus-sized particles as HEPA can, but it can trap less than 75% of air particles that are 0.3-1.0 microns in size (the coronavirus measures 0.1 microns). The difference between filters with a MERV 8 and MERV 13 rating is reduced to two micrometers. A MERV 13 air filter is one of the best filters on the market and can trap all the typical air contaminants, including several more.

It can filter smoke, pollution, and even virus carriers. In fact, there aren't many particles suspended in the air that a MERV 13 air filter can't trap. If you live in an area with heavy construction, factories, or smog, using a MERV 13 filter will ensure that the air inside your home is not contaminated. Wildfire-prone regions should also consider using a filter with a higher rating, such as a MERV 13. Therefore, understanding the differences in MERV filter classifications is critical when selecting the right commercial filter for your furnace, air conditioner, or heat pump.

The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers created the MERV filter classification system as a national and international industry standard classification system. What seems to be a small difference between MERV 8 and MERV 13 filters can affect the prognosis for life and death, which is why centers such as hospitals and surgical centers use filters with higher MERV ratings. In conclusion, if you value a higher level of air quality in your home, you'll probably find yourself comparing MERV 8 and MERV 13 filters. A higher MERV air filter rating indicates that an air filter is more effective at collecting finer particles.

Knowing the difference between these two ratings can help you make an informed decision when selecting an air filter for your home or business.