What Does MERV 13 Protect Against?

Brad Smith
Written By Brad Smith

The air filters you use in your HVAC system help keep this integral appliance operating efficiently. They also help remove airborne particles from the air you breathe, improving indoor air quality.

When you are choosing air filters for your home, the MERV rating is an important consideration. This rating scale refers to the ability of the filter to remove pollutants from the air. A lower rating means less efficiency at this task while a higher rating provides better filtration.

MERV 13 filters are the highest rating on air filters made for home use. You may want to consider using them if your system is compatible.

what does merv 13 protect against

How MERV 13 Air Filters Protect You

MERV 13 air filters block particles that are 1 micron in size and smaller. This means they are adept at capturing pollen, dust, dust mites, pet dander, smoke, smog, germs, bacteria, and mold spores.

Since many colds and viruses are transmitted by air droplets, a MERV 13 filter can help keep your family healthy. Every time someone sneezes, coughs, or breathes, tiny respiratory droplets are released. Within these droplets are particles, and once the moisture evaporates, the particles can bond together, staying suspended in the air for a while.

Those droplets can range from 1 to 5 microns in size and have the potential to hold all sorts of illnesses. Droplets are capable of spreading the common cold, influenza, tuberculosis, and more. Since the germ particles are tiny and can stay in the air for quite some time, any air current, even the one created from your air conditioning system, can keep them suspended in the air for longer.

That’s where MERV 13 filters can be of great assistance. They are capable of filtering out tiny particles, even those that are smaller than 1 micron. While there is no filter that can capture everything, they can minimize the effects of the particles in your air. In other words, they can reduce your chances of getting sick since they will be adept at capturing most of the illness-causing particles.

How to Know If Your HVAC System Can Use MERV 13 Air Filters

MERV 13 filters are the superior choice for air filtration as they reduce allergens, bacteria, viruses, mold spores, and other tiny airborne particles. They improve your indoor air quality, clearing the air for a healthy home.

Unfortunately, not all systems are capable of using MERV 13 air filters. These filters are dense, which helps them capture more particles. However, their density can also impede airflow in your HVAC system.

It’s a good idea to talk to your HVAC company to find out which filters can be safely used. Using a MERV 13 air filter when it’s not compatible could lead to a system breakdown and a pricey repair. Generally, filters with a rating of MERV 8 to 11 are suitable, but it is always best to ask a professional to be certain. That way, you’ll get the filter with the best filtration for your home without causing your air conditioner to wear out.

smith brad omni

Written by Brad Smith

CEO & Lead Interior Designer

Brad Smith is an experienced interior designer and the founder of OmniHomeIdeas.com. With a Master's degree in Interior Design from Pratt Institute and a passion for creating safe and healthy living spaces, Brad shares his expert insights and innovative design ideas with our readers. His work is driven by the belief that home is where every story begins.