Are Merv 8 Filters All the Same?

Not all Merv 8 air filters are the same: performance varies greatly depending on particle size. Different Merv 8 filters don't work the same way across all particle size ranges. Pleated filters have a much higher efficiency on medium and small particles than polyester pads or ring panels.

Merv ratings

allow you to make comparisons between filters to determine which is the most efficient for your specific application to eliminate annoying contaminants in a residence or workplace.In the United States, MERV 8 filters are very popular.

But why is that? And how can you use Merv ratings to ensure you buy the most beneficial filter for your needs? According to the National Air Filtration Association, there are 16 MERV values, from 1 to 16, and the efficiency of the tested filter increases as the number of MERVs increases. Filters are tested against 12 particle size ranges, with the smallest range being around 0.3 microns and the largest range around 10 microns. To put these sizes into perspective, a micrometer, also known as a micron, is one millionth of a meter. A strand of human hair is estimated to be between 75 and 100 microns, so some of these particles can only be seen with a microscope.To determine MERV, the performance of an air filter is determined by measuring the particle counts upstream and downstream of the filter being tested.

Particle counts are taken in 12 specific particle size ranges, during six test intervals, starting with a clean filter and then after periodic additions of a special ASHRAE test powder for five additional measurement cycles. The particle density in the test line is evaluated before and after it passes through the filter. Based on the defined calculations, as indicated in the Standard, a specific MERV is assigned to the air cleaner.MERV 13 to 16: Effective in controlling airborne bacteria, most tobacco smoke and pollutants released when sneezing. Applicable in general operating rooms, smoking rooms and commercial buildings with superior HVAC systems.MERV 9 to 12: Effective for controlling humidifier dust, lead dust, vehicle emissions and welding fumes.

Applicable in residences with superior HVAC systems, hospital laboratories and commercial buildingsMERV 5 to 8: effective in controlling mold spores, hairspray, dust. Applicable to most commercial buildings, residences, industrial workplaces and paint booths. MERV 8 filters are 90 percent efficient on particles that are 3 to 10 microns in size.MERV 1 to 4: Effective for controlling larger particles, such as sanding dust, spray paint dust, lint and carpet fibers. Applicable in residential and window air conditioning units.

Most MERV 8 filters are two-inch pleated filters that have been popular in the United States for many years. They are commonly used in American homes to remove basic pollutants present in most homes and to protect the performance and efficiency of the air conditioning system.A MERV 8 air filter is efficient at trapping most indoor particles that could weaken people with asthma and allergies, or even cause long-term respiratory problems. Another factor driving the popularity of MERV 8 filters is that they are inexpensive and easy to maintain. Depending on the manufacturer, they can last for three to six months and even up to a year in residential use.The most important aspect of how to select an air filter for your home or workplace is knowing the quality of your air.

Therefore, start by evaluating potential components that could affect air quality to determine the contaminants you need to remove. Select an air filter based on these contaminants and then follow the manufacturer's recommendations for replacing or repairing the filter. Camfil is the world leader in air and clean air filtration solutions. For more than 50 years, Camfil has provided filter devices as part of its commitment to provide clean air solutions in a number of industries.Based on these characteristics, a MERV 8 is considered a superior filtration compared to air filters with a lower MERV rating.

But is filtration enough? In many cases, a MERV 8 air filter is more than adequate. However, if you are concerned about outdoor air pollution, family members with respiratory problems or pets in the house then a higher merv rating might be a good idea. MERV 8 filters are ideal for an average home; they're much better than fiberglass filters and are still quite reasonably priced. This type of oven filter will be able to trap anything larger than 3 micrometers which is enough to trap common pollen dust and debris.If you think that any filter with a MERV 8 designation works the same as any other you should know that this is not necessarily true; filters in this range can also trap particles with a size of 3-10 microns but are more efficient at doing so.

A MERV 5 filter will trap up to 34%, a MERV 6 will stop 35-49%, a MERV 7 will prevent up to 69%, and a MERV 8 will trap up to 85% of particles; these filters are slightly more restrictive than MERV 1-4 filters and have the ability to trap mold spores and some pet dander along with dust and pollen.MERV 11 filters are an excellent choice if you need to take your filtration to the next level without restricting airflow too much; they eliminate an impressive amount of airborne materials including microscopic particles; they're often found in places that require better air filtration such as commercial buildings and senior living facilities; they're more expensive than MERV 8 filters but they're still easy to find and won't break your bank; failure to replace them regularly leads to poor air quality and can cause your system to work harder than it needs too; it's recommended that you change a MERV 13 filter every 1-2 months especially when your oven or air controller works a lot.