When it comes to air filters, the MERV rating is an important factor to consider. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and is a test method developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). It is used to measure the effectiveness of air filters in trapping particles of different sizes. The higher the MERV rating, the more particles the filter can capture. For example, a MERV 10 filter can trap most particles between 1.0 and 3.0 microns in size, while a MERV 16 filter can trap even more.
But what about the difference between MERV 12 and MERV 13?The difference between these two ratings isn't that significant. A MERV 12 filter is capable of trapping up to 89% of particles with a size of 1.0-3.0 microns, while a MERV 13 filter can trap slightly more. However, it's important to note that higher MERV ratings often mean lower airflow, which can cause the system to work harder and use more energy. If your home's HVAC system is not capable of handling a MERV 13, opt for a filter with the next highest possible rating. Filters with higher MERV ratings should be changed more frequently (at least every three months) to avoid restricted airflow that can cause the system to operate inefficiently or even damage it. When choosing an air filter for your home, you'll need to consider different MERV ratings and see which one is perfect for your needs.
A MERV 8 is known to be effective at filtering contaminants such as pollen, dust mites, sawdust, mold spores, and lint from the air, while higher ratings will clean the air even more. MERV 17 to 20 will also capture virus carriers, carbon dust, combustion smoke, radon progeny, and microscopic allergens (particles of size 0.3 microns).In conclusion, there isn't a huge difference between MERV 12 and MERV 13. While MERV-13 may excel slightly at capturing the smallest contaminants, MERV-12 is not far behind either. If your home's HVAC system is not capable of handling MERV 13, opt for a filter with the next highest possible rating.