Since the pandemic, we have become careful with our health and the health of others. We all want to have clean, high-quality air. In our homes and offices, we promote air quality by using effective air filters. But which is better, a MERV 8 or a MERV 11?
We will list the benefits of each so that you have all the answers before selecting a filter. The number one priority is that your filter suits your needs. Understanding the MERV is crucial to choosing the best option.
What Is a MERV Rating?
The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value measures how much dust, debris, and other pollutants a filter catches. The rating system lets the consumer know how effective the filter is. The rating is used for all air filters and ranges from one to sixteen.
These filters are beneficial for window AC units, as they pick up particles 10 µm and bigger. They are not advisable for indoor spaces. These are the least effective of the air filter options.
MERV 5 to 8 air filters can work well for central air conditioning in both homes or commercial buildings. These filters collect particles that range from 3 to 10 µm from mold, fungal spores, lint, etc.
A MERV rating of 9 to 12 can capture 1 to 3 µm particles, such as dust, pet dander, and small particles pets carry with them. This type of filter can be used in both home and commercial properties.
These filters can capture particles as small as 0.3 to 1.0 µm. They are beneficial for people who have bad allergies and a lot of pets. These filters are useful for hospitals, especially surgery rooms and inpatient care.
These filters are usually reserved for working with dangerous chemicals or performing radioactive treatments. They can capture particles as small as 0.3 µm, such as viruses, dust, allergens, and radon.
MERV 8 vs MERV 11
Before you choose a filter, you need to assess your home situation. Picking a MERV filter under eight is ineffective as they don’t pick up everyday pollutants. MERV 8 air filters are a great and affordable option for most homeowners. They pick up dust, mold, pollen, bacteria, and pet dander. However, if you have more than one pet or a family member who has allergies or asthma, it’s advisable to buy the MERV 11.
MERV 11 picks up a wider variety of particles, including smog, hairspray, and dander. If you live in a heavily polluted area, then a MERV 11 is good for you. Nonetheless, if you or your family don’t have allergies, asthma, or more than one pet, there is no need, and you can stick with the MERV 8.
Which Is Better?
A MERV 8 is generally the best option as it’s affordable and picks up most of the daily pollutants. The MERV 8 works well with your HVAC, provided you don’t live in a highly polluted area.
If you opt for a higher MERV, make sure your family requires it, as you could be setting yourself up for issues. MERV 11 filters are much thicker, meaning they require more energy. If you don’t need them, you could also be damaging your HVAC system.