MERV stands for “Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value.” The higher a filter’s MERV, the more (and tinier) airborne particles it catches. The true measure of a filter is the quality and number of pleats INSIDE the cardboard.
MERV 8s are great all-around filters for most homes, offering outstanding efficiency and quality at an economical price. Filters rated MERV 5 to 8 are categorized as “Better Residential” filters because they pick up most dust, mold and pet dander. However, MERV 5s only capture 20 to 34% of all particles 3 to 10 microns in size, while MERV 8s capture 70 to 85%. For these compelling reasons, we sell no filters below MERV 8, which is what the American Lung Association recommends.
MERV 11s remove 85 to 90% of all particles 3 to 10 microns in size AND more than 65% of particles 1 to 3 microns in size. These airborne particles include tobacco smoke, dust mite debris, mold spores, pollen and pet dander. MERV 11s are an excellent option for homes with pets and will also assist those suffering from asthma and allergies.
MERV 13s stop more than 90% of the 1 to 3 micron-sized particles and about 50% of particles in the 0.3 to 1 micron range (the ultra-tiny stuff). Our MERV 13 is the best option for asthma and allergy sufferers as it catches many forms of harmful bacteria and most tobacco smoke.
Those lower-priced filters, which tend to be highly porous, typically fall in the MERV 1 to 4 range, capturing less than 20% of airborne particles in the 3 to 10 micron range (yeah, weak). Your family, friends and pets deserve better.
The majority of air filters are designed to be replaced every 3 months. At the end of 90 days, the air filter’s ability to clean the air is drastically reduced, leaving your HVAC system more susceptible to damage. Some people choose to change filters more frequently than every 3 months, especially those who have severe allergies, live in a high-dust environment, or are particularly health-conscious.