MERV 8 filters are ideal for an average household, as they can pick up particles as small as three microns. This type of oven filter is much better than fiberglass filters and is still quite reasonably priced. It will be able to trap anything larger than 3 micrometers, which is enough to trap common pollen, dust, and debris. A MERV 13 air filter is one of the best filters on the market.
These will trap all typical airborne contaminants, including several more. While a MERV 13 filter can trap dust, pollen, mold and bacteria, it can also filter smoke, smog, and even virus carriers. In fact, there aren't many particles in the air that a MERV 13 air filter can't trap. MERV 13 filters specialize in trapping tiny particles such as bacteria in the air and smoke.
The difference between MERV 8 and MERV 13 rated filters is reduced to two microns. This means that things like pet dander, smoke, and some airborne bacteria are likely to pass through the MERV 8 filter. All of that in MERV 8, as well as pet dander, smoke, smog, and air from coughs and sneezes, are trapped by a MERV 11 filter. It is recommended that you change a MERV 13 filter every 1 to 2 months, especially when your oven or air controller works a lot.
If you live in or near a wildfire smoke area, it would be a good idea to upgrade to a MERV 13 filter. Use a MERV 8-13 filter depending on your family's needs and environment, and start using an indoor air quality monitor to help you determine if a separate air purification system is needed.