The Differences Between MERV Ratings – MERV 11 Recommended


Have you ever thought about what type of air filter you are picking up for your home? I’m not talking about the brand you are getting, but rather the MERV rating that you are getting. The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (or MERV) rating is a rating system used to compare filters made by various manufacturers. MERV ratings will range from 1 (low efficiency; minimum filtration) to 20 (highest efficiency; highest filtration).

For most household uses, the highest MERV rating used will be MERV 13 filters. Keep in mind that a MERV rating higher than 13 could negatively affect some HVAC systems, so it is advisable to verify that your unit can handle a higher rating before you make your purchase.

According to Alex Hertzog, our in-house air filtration expert, MERV 11 filters are recommended.

“The MERV 11 air filters remove a higher percentage of contaminants in the air that will increase indoor air quality and maintain the efficiency of the HVAC unit. It is also highly recommended if there are pets in the home, which can greatly reduce the air quality in your home.”

The chart below shows what you can remove from your air with MERV 8, 11 and 13 filters.

merv-rating-comparison-chart has a solution in various MERV ratings. For your home however, the better option is the FiltersFast MERV 11 air filters. Guaranteed to effectively reduce dust, pollen and other allergens from your indoor air, you will get a quality air filter without paying a high price. Verify the size that you will need and place your order. Use our Auto Delivery system and get 5% off and the convenience of having a replacement air filter sent to your home at your own frequency.

The FiltersFast MERV 11 represents a better option for your home than a MERV 8 and lower. Know the MERV rating you are getting and what it will filter out from your air.

9 thoughts on “The Differences Between MERV Ratings – MERV 11 Recommended

  1. Most furnance motors are sized to handle a Merv 11 with a properly sized duct system. A Merv 13 in some cases might be too much restriction of air flow. You can check with the manufacturer but your duct sizing is part of the equation and they really can’t answer the question without knowing the duct layout. Older duct layouts depend on what type of furnace they were sized for orginally.

  2. In response to Julie Billow’s 10/26/14 question, larger-Merv-number filters remove everything that smaller-Merv-number filters remove PLUS smaller particles that smaller-Merv-number filters CANNOT remove.

    For example, a Merv 11 filter, having smaller pores than a Merv 8, removes all the bigger particles that a larger-pore Merv 8 filter removes AS WELL AS the smaller particles that only a Merv 11 filter can remove. A Merv 13 filter, having yet smaller pores, removes all the bigger particles that a Merv 11 filter removes AND all the still-bigger particles that a Merv 8 removes — AS WELL AS yet-smaller particles that only a Merv 13 filter can remove.

  3. Merv 8 will give you a lower electric bill than merv 11. Less air can blow through an 11 or 13 which makes your unit work run longer to cool or heat a room to the desired temp.

  4. MERV 8 would be a great choice, especially if you are concerned about air flow restriction. Merv 8 will provide adequate filtration by removing 17.1% of particles that are 0.3-1 micron, 47% of particles that are 1-3 microns and 70.3% of particles that are 3-10 microns.

  5. The chart is giving a range of particles sizes that each contaminant is. For example, a mold spore can range from 2 microns to 10 microns and some of this contaminant will be removed by MERV 8 and MERV 11 will remove all of the mold spores. The MERV 13 removes even smaller particles and will remove all of the mold spores as well.

  6. Hi Roger, it seems like the manual doesn’t come with a recommended MERV Rating. Most homes should use either a MERV 8 or a MERV 11 air filter. The MERV 11 will give you more efficiency in capturing airborne particles.

  7. I would like to use the highest rated Merv rating that I can like the Merv 11 that you talk about, but I have an old house with 5″ round heating ducts and concerned with too much rescriction. I do have a brand new furnace and was thinking maybe going with Merv 8?? What do you guys think?? Thanks for any information on this.


  8. what merv rated air filter is recommended for a trane xv95 natural gas furnance? thanks

  9. Well, I have looked at your chart and my question is

    According to the chart, a 13 or 11 doesn’t do ALL of what an 8 does.

    To me it would seem logical that the higher ratings would cover all the 8 does and a 13 would also cover the 8 and 11.

    Wouldn’t 11 and 13 also filter pollen, dust mites, and plant spores?

    Can you explain this to me?



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