Is a merv 8 filter good enough?

MERV 8 air filters are very common because it is a fairly complete option, so you might think they have a good price but a poor performance. They are affordable and can provide above average air filtration in homes. So why use them? The main reason is that some old units can only handle these filters. A couple of decades ago, lower-quality filters were almost the only ones used in homes.

Technology for HVAC units has progressed since then, and most modern units in recent years should be capable of at least one merv 8 filter. However, older units may not have enough air pressure to force air through a higher efficiency filter. Attempting to do so could cause major problems as well as the need for repairs. If you have allergies, pets or live near smoke pollution, choosing a merv 13 filter is the ideal choice.

But if you simply need a filter to catch pollen, dust mites and hair, a MERV 8 filter should definitely do the job. Is a MERV 8 rating enough? Yes. MERV 8 is good enough for air filtration in average residential homes. A MERV 8 filter can stop mold spores, pollen and most cleaning agents.

However, it is important to note that individual circumstances may require a filter with a higher MERV rating. Yes, the choice of the word “sinking” was intentional. It should be clear that you should not try to get down into a rocky MERV filter. Consider this answer an unequivocal “yes”.

If you or someone else in your household smokes, you need more filtration than what a MERV 8 provides. While a merv 13 filter can trap dust, pollen, mold and bacteria, it can also filter smoke, smog, and even virus carriers. If you want you to at least clean your air and handle dust, mold, pollen and bacteria, then a MERV 8 will do the job. Even though pleated filters have a slightly higher initial pressure drop, it is not so important as to cause any damage to your HVAC system, as long as you change filters regularly.

Filters are tested against 12 particle size ranges, with the smallest range being around 0.3 microns and the largest range around 10 microns. Filters in this category can sometimes be called rock catchers because their job is to ensure that nothing too significant and devastating is absorbed by the HVAC unit at the very least. A MERV 8 filter is enough for an ordinary home because these filters cover common allergens such as pollen and mold. It is essentially a widely accepted rating system used for air filters that uses a scale of 1 to 16 to indicate efficiency and the degree to which the filter can trap pollutants in the air.

The worst percentage of the six tests is selected as the official measure used to determine the MERV rating of a filter. Airborne pollutants in most homes will be captured in a filter with a merv rating between 8 and 13.Follow with an 8-13 MERV filter, depending on your family's needs and environment, and start using an indoor air quality monitor to help you determine if a separate air purification system is needed. Select an air filter based on these contaminants and then follow the manufacturer's recommendations to replace or repair the filter. Particle counts are taken in 12 specific particle size ranges, over six test intervals, starting with a clean filter and then after the periodic addition of a special ASHRAE test powder for five additional measurement cycles.

Anything higher than a Merv 11 is designed for commercial homes or households with family members suffering from respiratory problems. We recommend this MERV rating for people with pets, children or people just looking for better indoor air quality. 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. .

AnnMarie Noland
AnnMarie Noland

Amateur coffee expert. Certified twitter enthusiast. Wannabe web aficionado. Certified web trailblazer. Proud twitter buff.

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