MERV 8 filters are a great choice for homeowners, as they can capture particles as small as three microns. This level of performance is ideal for an average home, and it's much better than fiberglass filters. A MERV 8 filter will trap anything larger than 3 micrometers, including common pollen, dust, and debris. On the other hand, a MERV 13 air filter is one of the best filters on the market.
It can trap all typical airborne contaminants, including smoke, smog, and virus carriers. In fact, there aren't many particles in the air that a MERV 13 air filter can't trap. The difference between MERV 8 and MERV 13 rated filters is reduced to two microns. MERV 13 filters specialize in trapping tiny particles such as bacteria in the air and smoke.
In addition to everything the MERV 8 and MERV 11 filters trap, the MERV 13 filters also trap tobacco smoke, fire smoke, contaminants in body fluids released by sneezing and coughing, and bacteria. The higher the MERV rating of a filter, the less dust particles and other contaminants can pass through it. If you upgrade from MERV 8 to MERV 11, monitor your energy bills to see if you're getting any savings. When you balance all of these problems, you will find the sweet spot in the MERV 8 vs MERV 11 vs MERV 13 spectrum.
For particles common in home air, such as pet dander and mold spores, a MERV 13 air filter is an excellent choice for many homeowners. The MERV rating of the air filter indicates whether the filter will capture particulate matter at a rate between 84.9% and 90%. So is it really worth upgrading from MERV 8 to MERV 13? Is there a big difference between the two? If you are in an area with a lot of construction, factories, or pollution, using a MERV 13 filter will keep your indoor air cleaner. Filters with a MERV rating of 13 to 16 generally remove contaminants when there is a high need for clean air.