With the recommendation of a Merv 13 or higher, does this filter meet your needs? A Merv 13 filter is a step in the right direction and captures more particles than a typical Merv 8 filter. However, it's not as effective at trapping small virus-sized particles as a HEPA filter. A Merv 13 will trap less than 75% of air particles that are 0.3-1.0 microns in size (coronavirus is 0.1 microns). It is also difficult for many existing HVAC systems to adopt a Merv 13 due to the greater fan load of finer filter media, which can actually reduce airflow if your system is not designed to handle that type of filter.
On average, many installations are limited to one type of Merv 8 or Merv 9 filter. The “Box Fan” with the Merv 13 can filter the air before it enters the space, thus reducing allergens and other pollutants found in the outdoor air. So how did our tests go with our “Box Fan with a Merv 13 Filter Cleaning Device”? In the tool room, the device removed 59.7% of one-micron particles and 86.4% of five-micron particles. An additional benefit of Merv 13+ filters is that they provide points for achieving Green Building Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification in the air filtration efficiency criteria part of the certification. RP Fedder sells a full range of Merv 13+ filters and can help you determine what types of filters and efficiency ratings you need.
It's important to note that Merv and HEPA are two different types of air filters, although you've probably seen both related to air filtration. A filter with a Merv rating of 14 may be able to remove VOCs* from the air, while a different filter with the same rating may not be able to. Merv stands for Minimum Efficiency Report Values and is a test method developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).The following table summarizes the average stop and applications of filters along the Merv scale, and the typical particle size for which they are used. A HEPA filter is essentially the ultimate solution in the air filter world and far exceeds what a Merv 13 can do.
Merv 16 is the highest filter you can buy, but your air conditioning system may not be able to do it. HEPA filters are the most efficient for residential or commercial use, followed by Merv 13-16 filters. For even better results, filtering can be combined with an air purification method such as ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI). Filters with a Merv rating of 11 can capture some coronavirus particles (65%), but Merv 13 is more effective, removing 85% of particles at 0.3 microns. One of their recommendations is to use air filters with at least a Merv 13 rating, or a higher HEPA rating when possible. In conclusion, while a Merv 13 filter can help reduce allergens and other pollutants found in outdoor air, it is not as effective at trapping small virus-sized particles as a HEPA filter.
It also may not be suitable for many existing HVAC systems due to its greater fan load of finer filter media. For maximum protection against coronavirus particles, it is recommended to use an air filter with at least a Merv 13 rating or higher HEPA rating when possible.