What is the Difference Between MERV 11 and MERV 13 Filters?

Learn about the differences between MERV 8, 11, and 13 filters and how they can help protect your home from bacteria and airborne viruses.

What is the Difference Between MERV 11 and MERV 13 Filters?

When it comes to air filters, the MERV rating is an important factor to consider. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and it is used to measure the effectiveness of air filters in trapping particles and contaminants. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filter is at trapping particles. The most common MERV ratings are 8, 11, and 13. So what is the difference between a MERV 11 and a MERV 13 filter? The main advantage of a MERV 13 filter over a MERV 11 filter is that it provides greater protection against bacteria and airborne viruses that spread through airborne droplets.

This makes it the best filter among these three. However, other factors must be taken into account when deciding which MERV rating is best for your furnace or air treatment system. The best practice is to change your MERV 11 filter every 1 to 3 months for maximum efficiency, depending on the season and how often your air conditioning equipment is used. It's important to remember that a furnace filter's MERV rating indicates its minimum capacity. A filter with a lower MERV rating may not be able to trap as many particles and contaminants as one with a higher rating.

Therefore, MERV 11 filters are better suited for residential homes with filtration needs than MERV 8 filters, while commercial buildings, nursing homes, and non-surgical hospital areas may require a higher MERV rating. Other classification systems such as the Filter Performance Index (FPR) and the Microparticle Performance Index (MPR) are also used for furnace filters, but the MERV scale is the most commonly used due to its simplicity and accuracy. As MERV 13 filters are denser than other types discussed here, they need to be changed more frequently than those with a lower MERV rating. Using an air filter with a higher MERV rating than recommended by the manufacturer of your oven or air conditioner can actually impair its performance. Another option is to use a MERV 8 or MERV 11 filter and add an air purifier to your home designed to remove impurities that cause allergies. Whatever MERV classification you choose, it is important to replace the filter regularly in order to keep your oven in optimal condition for years to come.

If you take all of these factors into account, you'll find the perfect balance between the MERV 8, 11, and 13 spectrum.