When you upgrade from a cheap fiberglass air filter to a MERV 8 filter, you are adding a lot more protection. This type of filter is designed to trap and capture dangerous allergens that can cause allergic reactions in many people. Mites are the main cause of dust allergies, and a MERV 8 filter is usually enough for an ordinary home as it can block common allergens such as pollen and mold, as well as products commonly used in homes such as cleaning products and hairspray. A MERV 8 filter is considered superior filtration compared to air filters with a lower MERV rating, but is it enough? In many cases, a MERV 8 air filter is more than adequate.
However, if you are concerned about outdoor air pollution, family members with respiratory problems, or pets in the house, then choosing a higher MERV rating might be a good idea. MERV ratings of 5-8 mean that 85-90% of particulates will be trapped in the filter. This is the most common type of filter recommended by HVAC technicians, but it does not capture all allergens. Even so, these filters can be up to eight times more effective than fiberglass filters.
Before you buy a MERV 8 filter, there are a few things you should know. While these filters trap pollen, dust, mold and other basic air pollutants, they're not ideal if you have allergies or pets. In addition, if you live close to smoke pollution, we recommend that you choose a filter with a higher MERV rating. The MERV system has values ranging from 1 to 20, and the higher number means a more extensive filtration.
Use a MERV 8 to 13 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. It is also not too demanding on a typical HVAC system because as the MERV increases, the airflow it allows decreases.If you're still unsure which MERV rated filter is best for your home, talk to an HVAC expert who will guide you to the right selection. If you suffer from extreme allergies, you'll want to look for a filter with at least a MERV rating of nine. Since a high MERV rating means more particulates will be removed from the air, you can first think about using air filters with the highest MERV rating.