Can I Use a MERV 8 Filter in My Furnace or Air Conditioner? - An Expert's Guide

Are you wondering if you can use a MERV 8 filter in your furnace or air conditioner? The answer is yes, you can. Most modern HVAC systems have no problem operating with higher MERV filters, which is why millions of homeowners rely on them. In this article, we'll discuss the benefits of using a MERV 8 filter, the risks associated with high-efficiency air filters, and how to ensure your system runs cleanly and efficiently. The MERV ratings are designed to help us determine the most effective and efficient air filter options for heating and cooling systems. MERV 8 filters are considered superior to air filters with a lower MERV rating, as they can capture a larger percentage of fine particles.

This makes them ideal for homes with family members who suffer from respiratory problems or have pets. However, high-efficiency air filters come with their own risks. If you don't change your filters regularly, you're likely to experience filter-related problems in your air conditioning system. To ensure your system runs cleanly and efficiently, it's important to insert the clean filter into the frame with the arrows printed on the frame pointing in the opposite direction to the air return and toward the main unit.

Regularly changing your filters is essential to keep your energy bills under control. In addition, some HVAC technicians prefer low-efficiency filters because of their low resistance to airflow. But this short period of time in which a small benefit is obtained from a low-efficiency filter is more than offset by the problems it creates. With modern technology, the increase in airflow resistance achieved with a high-efficiency filter is often marginal. High-efficiency particulate air filters (HEPA filters) are capable of eliminating at least 99.97% of mold, dust, pollen, bacteria and airborne particles with a size of 0.3 microns. Modern air conditioning units should have at least one MERV 8 filter, while MERV 13 filters can remove bacteria, tobacco smoke, car fumes, dust from insecticides, pet dander, and much more.

It's recommended to change these filters every two to four weeks. Finally, homes with smokers or pets should opt for MERV 11 air filters as they better eliminate odors. These high-quality filters trap particles as small as one micron, such as legionella and dust from humidifiers. In conclusion, you can use a MERV 8 filter in your furnace or air conditioner without any issues. This type of filter is more than adequate for most homes and will help keep your energy bills under control. However, if you're concerned about outdoor air pollution or have family members with respiratory problems or pets at home, then opting for a higher MERV rating might be a good idea.

Brittney Everitt
Brittney Everitt

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