What Type of Air Pollutants Does a MERV 8 Filter Not Remove?

When it comes to air filtration, the MERV rating is an important factor to consider. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and is a system used to evaluate the efficiency of an air filter based on its effectiveness in trapping particles of different sizes. A MERV 8 filter is considered superior compared to air filters with a lower MERV rating, as it can trap particles as small as 3-10 microns. However, it does not remove all air pollutants.

This means that substances such as pet dander, smoke, and some airborne bacteria are likely to pass through the MERV 8 filter. When selecting an air filter for your home or workplace, it is important to keep in mind the quality of the air. Many pleated HVAC air filters can still have a high MERV rating, without drastically restricting airflow. In general, filters with a MERV 16 rating or lower are considered suitable for residential, commercial, and general hospital use.

HEPA, ULPA and ASHRAE filters are commonly used in commercial and industrial environments or in applications where higher levels of filtration are required. Raising only three MERV classification levels can be a smart decision that makes the air cleaner or a harmful option for the entire air conditioning system considering the air flow capacity of the MERV 8 versus the MERV 11. One thing to keep in mind is that a MERV 11 air filter may need to be changed a little more frequently than a MERV 8 air filter. Studies have found that filtering recirculated air improved microvascular function in healthy older people, improved other types of vascular function in healthy adults, and improved lung function in indigenous communities, among other benefits. The most important aspect when selecting an air filter is knowing its efficiency. A study conducted on a MERV 8 filter found that 81.5% of the dust particles introduced into the filter were successfully filtered from the air.

This means that while a MERV 8 filter is superior compared to lower rated filters, it is not enough to remove all air pollutants. If you're concerned about outdoor air pollution, 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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