The Pros and Cons of High MERV Filters

Using an air filter with a high MERV rating can be beneficial in trapping more contaminants from the air stream. However, it can also restrict airflow if not changed frequently enough. Learn more about high MERV filters here.

The Pros and Cons of High MERV Filters

Using an air filter with a MERV rating that is too high can be just as detrimental as using one that is too low. High MERV filters have greater resistance, which can restrict airflow and cause problems for modern HVAC systems. However, they are also capable of trapping more contaminants from the air stream. If you want to know what a MERV classification is, it stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value.

This rating lets you know what size air particles an air filter will trap, with a higher rating meaning the filter can trap smaller air particles. The main risk of high-efficiency air filters comes from the fact that they are not modified for long periods of time. If you don't stop changing the filters, it's unlikely that you'll experience any filter-related problems in your air conditioning system. Most modern HVAC systems have no problem operating with higher MERV filters, which is why millions of homeowners rely on them. ASHRAE recommends MERV models 13 and 14, but it's best to select a filter with the highest possible MERV rating for your specific air conditioning system. If you buy to wash an alcohol, you could very well be creating some strange, weird and fun chemicals, unless you're just washing cotton, so I would only use sunlight to disinfect them, even that could break the tall Merv filters a little and release an unwanted, perhaps dangerous, chemical that degassing an activated carbon filter with high Merv could be your best option between you and any other exotic chemical action you're doing. Finally, I say that peace of mind is priceless and that if they think that a high MERV filter would provide that, they should do so with the exception that they must replace dirty filters often enough.

Filters with higher MERV ratings should be changed more frequently (at least every three months) to avoid restricted airflow that can cause the system to operate inefficiently or even damage it. Filter technology has grown by leaps and bounds over the years, and MERV ratings are designed to help us define the most effective and efficient air filter options for heating and cooling systems and more. Low-efficiency filters are usually included in the MERV 1-4 models and the high-efficiency ones are the MERV 13 and higher. The highest MERV rating means an air filter will capture the most dust, while the lower rating means the filter will capture the least amount of dust. While air filters with a MERV of one to four are effective at removing large particles, such as carpet fibers, drops of paint suspended in the air, and dust from sandpaper, they cannot remove contaminants such as hairspray, mold spores, or even flour that could have escaped from the mixer. Home Energy published an article by Dave Springer, of the time, of Davis Energy Group, on the pressure drop and energy consumption of several MERV filters. I just watched a Facebook video of Ai.

I just saw a FB video of a British doctor who says that vacuum bags are NOT safe for masks, as they contain fiberglass, which is very bad for the breath (and worse when the bags have been cut to make inserts). However, MERV air filters are made, as I am reading, of polyester and cotton, they should be safe.