MERV 13 air filters are highly efficient at trapping airborne contaminants, including dust, pollen, mold, bacteria, smoke, smog, and even virus carriers. The MERV rating system is used to standardize and simplify filter efficiency ratings for the public. A MERV 13 filter will remove smaller particles from the air than a MERV 8 (or lower) filter. However, it's not as effective at capturing small virus-sized particles as a HEPA filter.
It is also difficult for many existing HVAC systems to adopt a MERV 13 due to the greater fan load of finer filter media. When selecting the right commercial filter for your oven, air conditioner, or heat pump, it's important to understand the differences in MERV filter ratings. Some manufacturers call their filters “allergy air filters” because they can capture common allergens in various micron sizes. To mitigate seasonal allergies, an air filter that can capture fine pollen particles is recommended.
It's essential to check all air filters every 30 to 60 days and replace them only when signs of dirt and dust build up. ULPA and HEPA grade air filters are required for cleanrooms, high-risk operating rooms, and locations where hazardous chemicals are used. If you are in an area with a lot of construction, factories, or pollution, using a MERV 13 filter will keep your indoor air cleaner. Ultimately, understanding the differences in MERV filter ratings is critical when selecting the right commercial filter for your oven, air conditioner, or heat pump.