A Merv 13 filter is a great choice for improving air quality in your home. It captures more particles than a typical Merv 8 filter, but it's not as effective at capturing 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's important to make sure that the rest of your HVAC system is configured to handle the increased restriction that filters create.
Technology for HVAC units has progressed since then and most modern units in recent years should be able to have a MERV 8 filter at least. If your home's HVAC system is not capable of handling MERV 13, opt for a filter with the next highest possible rating. For many homes, a vacuum with a HEPA filter provides enough control of particulate pollution to maintain good indoor air quality. Using a filter designed just to do so does not jeopardize the function of the system if the filter is maintained regularly. Air filters of different sizes will have different prices, the same goes for the MERV rating of the filter. However, older units may not be able to have enough air pressure to force air through a higher efficiency filter. I recently published an article on the topic of using high-MERV HVAC filters in homemade coronavirus masks.
While MERV 8 is known to be effective at filtering contaminants such as pollen, dust mites, sawdust, mold spores, and lint from the air, higher Merv ratings will clean the air even more. Homeowners should not use ANY filters without first consulting an HVAC professional about whether or not their system can use them safely. While many choose to simply hire a professional to replace their oven filter, knowing your oven filter needs and doing the work yourself can yield countless benefits, both in the short and long term. As an HVAC professional for more than 40 years, I have seen dozens of systems destroyed by the use of highly restrictive MERV filters. It's important to understand your system and its capabilities before making any decisions about which type of filter you should use.
ConclusionIn conclusion, Merv 13 filters are worth it if your HVAC system can handle them safely.
They are great for improving air quality in your home and reducing the amount of dirty particles in the air. However, it's important to make sure that your system is configured to handle the increased restriction that filters create before making any decisions about which type of filter you should use.