Home air filters – Merv 8 popularity

28 Sep, 2022

Home air filters – Merv 8 popularity

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Are you looking at and considering buying home air filters? Many homeowners increasingly are adopting air filters to manage the quality of air in their home environment. The Merv 8 air filter is incredibly popular. Here are some reasons why…

Why are Merv 8 home air filters so popular?

home air filters
Apart from the functionality the look and feel of the unit is attractive

MERV is an excellent way of comparing different home air filters based on performance and specifics. But what are they? And why have MERV 8 filters become so popular? Read on to know everything about MERV the quality rankings of air filters.

A brief history of MERV Rating

In 1987, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) came up with an efficiency rating system called the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV). It allows us to compare the performance of air filters. The rating system is a great way to compare air filters based on their ability to trap pollutants of particular sizes.

The MERV values range from 1 to 16. On average, a rating between 8 to 10 is considered the best for homes. MERV 8 is especially popular among homeowners. Ever wonder why? Here is everything you need to know about the popularity of MERV 8 filters.

Why is Merv 8 so popular?

To understand why MERV 8 is widely popular, you’d have to understand the MERV rating chart. Here is a breakdown.

Breakdown of options

Controlling bit particles –  MERV 1 to 4: Air filters with this rating are good at controlling big particles, like spray paint dust, sawdust, dust mites, textile and carpet fibers, and pollen. They are primarily used in homes and window AC units.

Hairspray and spores – MERV 5 to 8: These air filters are good at controlling hair spray, mold spores, dust, etc. They are used in commercial buildings, homes, paint booths, and industrial workplaces. MERV 8 filters provide a 90% efficiency on particles within the size range of 3 to 10 micrometers.

Dust, fumes and emissions – MERV 9 to 12: Ait filters with this rating are good at controlling lead dust, humidifier dust, welding fumes, and vehicle emissions. These are mostly used in homes with superior HVAC units, commercial buildings, and hospital laboratories.

Controlling pollutants – MERV 13 to 16: As the highest range, these filters control pollutants from sneezing, most tobacco smoke, and airborne bacteria. These are used in smoking lounges, surgery suites, and commercial buildings.

Compare home air filter systems

The MERV rating system is an excellent way of comparing different air filters based on their effectiveness and efficiency. If you’re looking to have an air filter installed in your home, the MERV rating should be your starting point.

The Best Merv Rating for Residential HVAC System Use

As you can judge from the chart breakdown, MERV 8 air filters are commonly used in American homes because of their ability to remove basic pollutants prevalent in residences and trap many indoor particulates that could trigger allergies and asthma. They assist in protecting the AC unit.

Apart from all these reasons, MERV 8 is popular because they are relatively inexpensive and easy to maintain.

Another popular option for residential HVAC systems is air filters with a MERV rating of 13. But before spending money on such an air filter, ensure your system can handle the high rating. If you are unsure how to go on about the rating system, speak to a professional. They can suggest the best MERV air filter.

Residences and commercial buildings both warrant different ratings. The same is the case with hospitals and pharmaceutical manufacturing settings. Consult an expert before zeroing in on the air filter. Consider the maintenance standards of each rating before buying an air filter as well.

When to Change Your MERV Air Filter

You should change your air filter regularly to keep the system running efficiently. How often you should replace it depends on the MERV rating of the air filter. As a general rule, the higher the rating, the more often you’d have to change the filter. This ensures that the airflow doesn’t get restricted, forcing the system to work inefficiently. You should consider getting them replaced after every three months at least.

At the same time, some air filters could be pushed for about six months. You can speak to a professional to learn more about how frequently the air filter should be changed based on your system and MERV rating.

Frequently Asked Questions

MERV ratings are a bit tricky to get the hang of, especially for people without prior knowledge. Here are some questions that customers frequently ask while buying air filters for their homes or commercial establishments.

Is it best to choose an air filter with the highest MERV rating?

The higher the MERV rating, doesn’t always mean the better. Before choosing an air filter with a higher rating, you need to consider your HVAC system’s specifications and handling capacity. HVAC systems come with a recommended MERV rating.

If you choose a MERV rating that exceeds this limit, the airflow could get restricted, forcing the system to work harder, reducing the heating and cooling efficiency, and increasing the system’s wear and tear rate. A higher rating is only suitable if your HVAC system can handle the upgrade.

What MERV rating should I use?

Ideally, you should choose filters with the highest MERV rating for your HVAC system, provided the system can handle it. ASHRAE recommends MERV 13 and MERV 14. MERV 8 air filters are good for homes as well, so consider that for your residence or speak to a professional to get an expert opinion.

Home air filters and the MERV 8 in summary

Is MERV 8 good enough?

While MERV 8 filters are popular because of their inexpensiveness, there is only so much they can do. They can filter contaminants and pollutants like dust mites, pollen, sawdust, lint, and mold spores.

If you go for a higher rating, it can filter out more types of contaminants. MERV 13 air filters can get rid of tobacco smoke, bacteria, auto fumes, pet dander, and insecticide dust, among other things. At the end of the day, it depends on how much you can spend and your system’s specifications.


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