MERV 8 filters are a popular choice for many homeowners, as they offer a great balance between efficiency and cost. The Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) is an industry standard that measures the overall effectiveness of air filters. As the MERV rating increases, the finer the filtration becomes, allowing fewer pollutants to pass through the filter. MERV 8 filters have a 90 percent efficiency on particles from 3 to 10 microns in size, making them effective for controlling larger particles such as sanding dust, spray paint dust, lint and carpet fibers.
To be classified as a MERV 8 filter by NAFA (National Air Filtration Association), a filter must filter at least 70% of E3 particles (3.0-10.0 µm) and 20% of E2 particles (1.0-3.0 µm). In addition to 70% of E3 particles, it also filters 30% of E2 particles and 1.9% of E1 particles (0.3-1.0 µm). As it is a MERV 8 filter, it is not designed to trap the smallest particles that fall into the E1 category, such as pet dander. Essential was found to have a detention rate of 81.5%, meaning that 81.5% of the dust particles introduced into the filter were successfully filtered out of the air. The MERV 8 polyethylene pad and the MERV 8 ring panel had very low fine particle removal efficiencies, while the MERV 8 mechanical media filter had such a low efficiency on fine particles compared to the MERV 8 electret media filter. The difference in efficiency of a MERV 8 filter and a MERV 13 filter is significant.
A MERV 8 filter is approximately 20% efficient at capturing particles from 1 µm to 3 µm, while a MERV 13 filter is at least 85% efficient at capturing particles in that size range, a difference of 65%. Therefore, even after 90 days, the dirty MERV 8 electret media filter still performs better on sub-micron sized particles than the clean or dirty mechanical media filter. For common household airborne particles, such as pet dander and mold spores, a MERV 13 air filter is a great choice for many homeowners. It is essential to remember that the MERV rating of an air filter denotes its lowest possible capacity, that is, the minimum percentage of impurities that it could effectively filter. At the heart of an optimally functioning HVAC system is an oven filter with the right MERV rating for you. MERV 8 filters are applicable in residences and window air conditioning units and are an excellent choice for many homeowners.