What is the Difference Between a MERV 8 and MERV 11 Filter?

When it comes to air filters, the MERV rating is an important factor to consider. This rating system, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, is used to measure the effectiveness of air filters in capturing particles of different sizes. A MERV 8 filter and a MERV 11 filter are two of the most common ratings, but what is the difference between them?The main difference between a MERV 8 and a MERV 11 filter is their ability to capture fine particles. Particles measuring 2.5 microns or smaller can enter lung tissue and enter the bloodstream, and a MERV 11 filter can filter a large percentage of these fine particles, while a MERV 8 filter cannot.

This makes MERV 11 filters ideal for city spaces with poor quality air, as they can capture exhaust gases from cars that MERV 8 filters cannot. In terms of other factors, both MERV 8 and MERV 11 filters are suitable for residential use and generally do not restrict airflow. However, experts recommend changing MERV 8 filters every 2 to 3 months to work at full capacity. These cheap filters will have little impact on air flow at the cost of having minimal impact on air quality. If you need to take your filtration to the next level without restricting airflow too much, then a MERV 11 filter is a great option. This is often the most affordable air filtering option and, for most homes, it's an appropriate way to keep the air healthy.

However, if none of these factors are of concern to your home and there is no other reason why you need a higher filtration level in your home, then a MERV 8 to MERV 10 filter is probably the best choice. The highest MERV rating that is safe for residential use is MERV 13, although such a high rating is rarely needed in a residential home, unless someone has severe dust allergies or asthma and needs advanced air filtering.

Brittney Everitt
Brittney Everitt

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