What Does a Merv 8 Air Filter Mean?

MERV 8 filters are 90 percent efficient at trapping particles that range from 3 to 10 microns in size. The National Air Filtration Association (NAFA) classifies a filter as a Merv 8 if it filters at least 70% of E3 particles (3.0-10.0 µm) and 20% of E2 particles (1.0-3.0 µm). In addition, it also filters 30% of E2 particles and 1.9% of E1 particles (0.3-1.0 µm). However, it is not designed to capture the smallest particles that fall into the E1 category, such as pet dander. Essential was found to have a stop rate of 81.5% after performing standard dust tests.

This means that 81.5% of the dust particles introduced into the filter were successfully filtered out of the air. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Rating Value and is a standardized system created by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). It is used by all manufacturers of air filters and has a rating value that ranges from 1 (lowest efficiency) to 20 (highest efficiency).Merv 1 to 4 are effective for controlling larger particles, such as sanding dust, spray paint dust, lint and carpet fibers. These are applicable in residential and window air conditioning units. Merv 8 air filters are common in homes, commercial buildings, paint booths, and industrial workplaces. They are 90% efficient at trapping particles from 3 to 10 microns in size. As the Merv rating increases, the finer the filtration becomes.

With finer filtration, less airborne contaminants are allowed to pass & dust particles through the filter. The most common airborne contaminants these filters are tested against tend to include pollen, dust mites, mold spores, dust, pet dander, bacteria, and tobacco smoke. The thickness of the filter material in a MERV filter 11 is greater than that of a MERV filter 8.This means that MERV 11 is better able to capture between 65% and 79% of the smallest particles.MERV 17 to MERV 20 filters are commonly used in operating rooms, cleanrooms, and other settings that require absolute cleanliness. If you're worried about the effects of inhaling fine air particles or have family members suffering from respiratory problems, then it might be a good idea to choose a higher MERV rating. All air filters require periodic cleaning and filter replacement to function properly. Follow manufacturer's recommendations for maintenance and replacement.