What Does Merv 13 Mean in Air Filters?

A Merv 13 filter is one of the best filters on the market. These will trap all typical pollutants in the air, including several more. While a MERV 13 filter can trap dust, pollen, mold and bacteria, it can also filter smoke, smog, and even virus carriers. In fact, there aren't many particles in the air that a MERV 13 air filter can't trap.

The Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) is a rating system that helps measure the effectiveness of air filters. This judgment is based on how well a filter captures dust and other various particles. It's also an easy and useful way to choose the best filter for your home or indoor space. A MERV 13 filter traps with its minimum efficiency: less than 75% of air particles having a size of 0.3-1.0 microns (reference table below).

By increasing the size range of air particles to 3-10 microns, a MERV 13 filter will capture 90% or more of them at their worst. With the recommendation of a MERV 13 or higher, 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. It is 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. For those interested in a full explanation of MERV, we also have a MERV rating guide that provides a detailed breakdown of MERV.

It brings expert knowledge of a wide range of home air filtration topics, including HVAC filters, filtration efficiency, and indoor air quality. As specified by NAFA, to be labeled MERV 13, a filter must successfully remove at least 90% of E3 particles, 85% of E2 particles, and 50% of E1 particles. Our Health Shield filter removes a minimum average of 97.2% of E3 particles, 85.5% of E2 particles and 50.2% of E1 particles. As you can see, this filter is extremely effective. In the standard dust tests that were performed, our Health Shield filter had a total particle arrest of 98.1%. The problem is that a HEPA filter media is too thin to implement in existing HVAC systems and the only way to add one to an installation is through a standalone or portable HEPA air filtration system with its own dedicated fan designed to increase the resistance of this type of filter. As indoor air quality questions and concerns arise due to the pandemic, important filtration terms such as MERV ratings are becoming more common.

As long as you have an air filter installed in your air return, there is no way to prevent the pressure drop. Filters with higher MERV ratings trap small particles more effectively than filters with lower MERV ratings. While these ratings meet the minimum requirement for the use of indoor air filters, they cannot effectively capture particles smaller than 10.0 microns, rendering them ineffective for CAI purposes. MERV 13-16 filters also have a higher rating because they are more effective at capturing and filtering larger particles. Although confusing, MERV ratings can be your best friend when trying to figure out which oven filter best suits your needs. All air filters require periodic cleaning and filter replacement to function properly. Follow manufacturer's recommendations for maintenance and replacement. While these filters do a great job of trapping pollen, dust, mold and other basic air pollutants, they're not ideal if you have allergies or pets. The worst percentage of the six tests is selected as the official measure used to determine the MERV rating of a filter.

Terry Konarik
Terry Konarik

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

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