The Pros and Cons of MERV 8 and MERV 11 Air Filters: Which One is Right for You?

When it comes to air filters, there are a lot of options to choose from. The MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating is a standard created by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) to evaluate the effectiveness of air filters. A higher MERV rating isn't always better. In most situations, a filter somewhere in between is more than enough.

MERV 8 and MERV 11 air filters are two of the most popular options, but which one is right for you? MERV 8 air filters are a great choice for most homes. They are relatively inexpensive and can filter out most common allergens, such as dust, pollen, and pet dander. They also trap some smaller particles, such as mold spores and smoke particles. However, they are not as effective at filtering out smaller particles, such as bacteria and viruses. MERV 11 air filters are a bit more expensive than a standard filter, but it's usually worth paying a few more dollars per filter.

Some situations justify a higher MERV 11 rating. If someone has an allergy or respiratory problem, opt for a MERV 11 air filter or even a MERV 13 air filter. The same goes for homes with smokers or pets, as MERV 11 air filters better eliminate odors. However, filters with a high MERV content offer superior filtration, as they trap all types of substances, from construction dust and tobacco smoke to bacteria. A filter with a higher MERV score can help remove more contaminants from the air.

This will reduce the most common allergic symptoms, such as runny nose, persistent sneezing, sore throat, skin rashes, eye irritation, headaches, and fatigue. Indoor air quality plays an important role in your family's health and comfort. Choosing the right MERV rating is an important decision in terms of total cost, air quality and product durability. In particular, using an air filter with a MERV rating that is too high can damage the compressor, heat exchanger and air conditioning coil. Most homeowners will want to choose a filter with a MERV rating between 4 and 11: high enough to prevent a good amount of particles from entering not only their system but also their home once they pass through the system, and low enough so that it doesn't overload the HVAC system, leading to overwork, possibly overheating and increasing your energy bills. The comparison chart helps highlight the differences between the MERV 8 and MERV 11 filters to make it easier to decide which one will work best.

A MERV 8 carbon filter will filter more than enough dust and allergens and filter dozens of toxic gases that will pass directly through a MERV 13 filter. However, filters with a high MERV content offer superior filtration. MERV 11 air filters can capture a large percentage of fine particles that cannot be filtered by a MERV 8 air filter. In general, filters with higher MERV indexes capture higher percentages of particles and smaller particles.

Each air filter has its advantages and disadvantages, but both MERV 8 air filters and MERV 11 air filters are suitable for residential use. One thing to keep in mind is that a MERV 11 air filter may need to be changed more often than a MERV 8 air filter due to its ability to capture more particles. However, this is usually offset by the fact that it lasts longer than the lower rated filter. When it comes down to it, there are pros and cons to both types of filters. Ultimately, it's up to you to decide which one is best for your home or business. If you're looking for superior filtration without breaking the bank or damaging your HVAC system then go with the MERV 8 option.

If you're looking for maximum filtration without sacrificing too much on cost or efficiency then go with the MERV 11 option. No matter which option you choose, peace of mind is priceless and if you think that a high MERV filter would work for you then do it with the caveat that you must replace dirty filters frequently enough (26%), it can be a week or two depending on the MERV index, the effective area of the filter and the amount of particles that enter your home. In conclusion, when selecting an air filter for your home or business it's important to consider all factors including cost effectiveness, efficiency in filtering out particles from the air as well as durability of the product itself. A good balance between these factors should be taken into account when making your decision on which type of filter is best for you.

Alison Oliveria
Alison Oliveria

Total tv buff. Devoted beer geek. Hardcore twitter geek. Award-winning twitter fan. Extreme pop culture fanatic. Professional explorer.

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