Do MERV 13 Filters Stop Viruses?

Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) is a scale developed by ASHRAE in 1987 to measure the effectiveness of air filters. A MERV 13 rating or higher is recommended by the CDC to trap smaller particles, including viruses. But does a MERV 13 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 good at capturing small virus-sized particles as a HEPA can.

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 (HVAC) systems to adopt a MERV 13 because of the greater fan load of finer filter media, which can actually cause more harm than good and 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. But MERV 13 air filters can still filter bacteria and viruses that can cause infections. The most commonly used filters are the MERV 13 to 16 range, which will capture everything mentioned above, including lead, humidifier, nebulizer, charcoal dust, legionella, insecticide powder and sneeze cores from copier toner, automatic fumes and bacteria. For HVAC systems, ASHRAE recommends a filter with a minimum MERV rating of 13, but MERV 14 or higher is preferred.

With a portable air purifier through Sanalife, you can access easy-to-use air filtration systems with MERV 13+ ratings. MERV 13 filters are among the most effective air filters you can buy for your home and, in fact, can eliminate some virus carriers from the air you breathe.

Terry Konarik
Terry Konarik

Amateur travel junkie. Beer geek. Extreme internet nerd. Total coffee specialist. Freelance travel aficionado.

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