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MERV 13 vs. MERV 8 Air Filters: Do You Really Need to Spend More?

Posted by Michelle Eld on

When you’re looking at the differences between MERV 13 and MERV 8 filters, you may wonder why anyone would by the lesser MERV when the higher MERV seems so much more effective at capturing dust. Quality varies between these two types of filters just as any other product comparison would reveal, such as an air conditioner that has a SEER rating of 13 vs. 23.

It all begins with educating yourself with research. First off, a word about what MERV means. The term MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and is meant to inform consumers about which environmental pollutants MERV-rated filters can trap. You can find MERV ratings between 1 and 16, capturing common particles like pet dander, smog, dust, tobacco smoke, bacteria, and pollen.

MERV 8s will collect particles as small as three microns, which is an excellent choice for home owners. This is a good performance level for the average home. The MERV 13 can collect particles as small as .3 microns. However, these are generally reserved for super clean environments, such as medical facilities. They’re considered overkill for typical residential applications, plus they’re more expensive. There’s no need to spend more on MERV 13s when you can get excellent efficiency out of a MERV 8.

You’re better off purchasing MERV 8 filters and changing them more often. That’s because not only are the 13s higher in price, they need to be replaced more often. They remove dust and allergens so well that they pack with dust much faster than a standard MERV 8. Is it really worth it? Not unless you or a family member has severe allergies or you own a hospital.

Just think: if you shell out more money for a MERV 13, you’ll be less likely to replace it. Buy MERV 8 filters at a much cheaper cost; you’ll replace them more often but somehow you’ll feel less guilty replacing them.

Yes, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends MERV 13 filters because they trap bacteria, tobacco smoke and sneeze residue from 75% to 90% or better from 0.3 microns in size to 10 microns in size. However, we're here to level with you: the MERV 8 is just as good as the MERV 13 in regular household situations provided you change them as recommended.

Now that you know the truth, give us a call at Filtration Montreal to order your furnace filters and ask us any remaining questions you may have about MERV ratings. Place an order for filters today and we quite possibly could ship them out same day! Remember, always FREE shipping throughout Canada!

  • MERV 8 filters
  • MERV 13 filters