When it comes to air filtration, a MERV 8 filter is usually good enough for the average household. It is considered superior filtration compared to air filters with a lower MERV rating, as it can capture up to 20% of particles smaller than 0.3 microns. This includes pet dander, smoke, and some airborne bacteria. But is a MERV 8 rating sufficient? Generally speaking, yes.
It can stop mold spores, pollen and most cleaning agents. However, if you're concerned about outdoor air pollution, family members with respiratory problems, or pets in the house, then opting for a higher MERV rating might be a good idea. It is important to note that individual circumstances may require a filter with a higher MERV score. If you or someone else in your household smokes, you need more filtration than a MERV 8 provides.
This is because the MERV 5-8 range can only capture air contaminants of 3.0 microns or more. As a result, MERV 8 filters capture medium-sized particles, such as aerosols, mold and dust. For most households, this is not enough. Harmful viruses and bacteria will continue to circulate in your home, as will smoke and other forms of air pollution. Therefore, if you are looking for superior air filtration, you should opt for a filter with a higher MERV rating. A couple of decades ago, lower quality filters were almost the only ones used in homes.
However, HVAC unit technology has progressed since then and most modern units in recent years should be capable of at least one MERV 8 filter. Older units may not be able to withstand sufficient air pressure to force air through a larger filter.MERV 11 air filters can filter a large percentage of fine particles that MERV 8 filters cannot. They are slightly more expensive than standard filters but are worth it due to their added efficiency. Raising just three MERV rating levels can make the air cleaner. If someone in the household has a breathing disorder, the doctor may have prescribed a higher MERV filter.
Filters with MERV ratings of 1 to 4 usually don't advertise it because it's not a big sales pitch. However, a high MERV rating on an air filter generally means that the filter is thicker and that the HVAC system will have to work harder to circulate air throughout the house. Choosing the right MERV rating is an important decision in terms of total cost, air quality and product durability. Low-efficiency filters are usually inside the MERV 1-4 range and high-efficiency filters are MERV 13 and more. If you're concerned about the effects of breathing fine air particles, that's another reason to choose a MERV 11 air filter instead of a MERV 8 air filter. I have seen thousands of air conditioning systems and ovens fail prematurely because someone forgot to change the air filter.
Therefore, it is important to remember to regularly change your air filter according to manufacturer instructions.