MERV ratings are a widely accepted and used system for air filters, ranging from 1 to 16. A MERV 11 filter is rated MPR 1000 and is capable of capturing most fine particles, including pollen and pet dander. These filters have more pleats than other filters with a similar rating, and they can filter out particles as small as one micron. A MERV 11 air filter has a higher efficiency rating than a MERV 8 air filter, meaning it can capture finer particles and remove more pollutants from the air. However, if you're worried about outdoor air pollution, family members with respiratory problems, or pets in the home, then going with a higher MERV rating might be a good idea.
The same applies to homes with smokers or pets, as MERV 11 air filters better eliminate odors. It's important to note that using an oven filter with a MERV rating higher than your use case requires can have adverse effects. MERV 8 air filters are almost as affordable as less efficient products, making them good value for money. If someone has an allergy or respiratory problem, choose a MERV 11 air filter or even a MERV 13 air filter. Filters with higher MERV ratings should be changed more frequently (at least every three months) to avoid restricted airflow that can reduce efficiency or even damage the system.
Meanwhile, air filters with a MERV 14 rating or higher are designed for commercial HVAC systems that can handle the coarsest filter material. If you're new to selecting air filters and still not sure what the best option is, consider the severity of your allergies or respiratory problems and the type of pollutants in your home. A MERV 11 air filter is sufficient to capture most fine particles, including pollen and pet dander.