The Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) is a measure of the ability of an air filter to capture particles larger than 0.3 to 10 microns. A MERV 8 filter is considered superior filtration compared to air filters with a lower MERV rating, as it captures at least 70% of E3 particles (3.0-10.0 µm) and 20% of E2 particles (1.0-3.0 µm). However, it is not designed to trap the smallest particles that fall into the E1 category, such as pet dander. For most households, a MERV 8 air filter is more than adequate.
It can effectively filter medium-sized particles, such as aerosols, mold and dust. However, if you're concerned about outdoor air pollution, family members with respiratory problems, or pets are in the house, then opting for a higher MERV rating might be a good idea. Essential was found to have a retention rate of 81.5%, meaning that 81.5% of the dust particles introduced into the filter were successfully filtered from the air. Air filters with higher MERV values may filter more, but the thickness of the filter material may restrict air flow.
MERV 11 air filters are a little more expensive than a standard filter, but paying a few dollars more per filter is usually worth it because of the added efficiency. Generally speaking, anything under a MERV 13 air filter should provide very efficient air purification in a home without affecting air flow.To determine the MERV, the performance of an air filter is determined by measuring the particle count upstream and downstream of the filter being tested. Basically, the higher the MERV rating, the greater the air filtration capabilities of a particular filter.If you're trying to choose between a MERV 8 air filter and a MERV 11 air filter, consider your needs and budget carefully. A MERV 8 is usually good enough for an average household, but if you're looking for extra protection from outdoor air pollution or have family members with respiratory problems or pets in the house, then opting for a higher MERV rating might be a good idea.
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