What is the MERV Rating of a MERV 11 Filter?

Learn about the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating of a MERV 11 filter and why it's worth investing in one for improved indoor air quality.

What is the MERV Rating of a MERV 11 Filter?

MERV, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, is an industry standard that measures the overall effectiveness of air filters. As the MERV rating increases, the finer the filtration becomes, allowing fewer airborne contaminants to pass through. The most common airborne pollutants that these filters are tested against typically include pollen, dust mites, mold spores, dust, pet dander, bacteria, and tobacco smoke. MERV 8 air filters are the most commonly used in residential buildings.

They trap around 80% of the particles suspended in the air and are capable of blocking contaminants in the 3.0-10 micron range and other larger particles. This type of filter retains dust, mold, pollen, mites, bacteria and pet dander. When it comes to selecting an air filter for your home, it's important to consider the MERV rating. A MERV 8 filter is generally considered adequate for most homes, but if you have strict building codes or increased foot traffic, you may want to opt for a filter with a higher MERV rating.

The two most popular options are MERV 8 and MERV 11. While MERV 11 filters are slightly more expensive, they can improve indoor air quality to help alleviate people with respiratory problems. Filters with a MERV rating greater than 13 are closely intertwined to capture potentially harmful contaminants. However, using an air filter with a MERV rating higher than that recommended by the boiler or air conditioner manufacturer can actually impair its performance.

In general, filters with a MERV 16 rating or lower are considered suitable filters for air conditioning systems for residential, commercial, and general hospital use. The MERV 11 air filter isn't the best option for people who don't have pets and don't have respiratory problems; this is because it can restrict airflow. However, if you have pets or suffer from allergies or asthma, then it's worth investing in a MERV 11 filter as it can help remove more airborne particles than a MERV 8 filter. Because they're more efficient, MERV 11 filters are a bit pricey but they're certainly worth every penny.