Honeywell’s MERV 11 Replacement Air Filter is designed to be installed as a replacement for the MERV 11 filter that comes pre-installed in your home or office’s heating and cooling system.
However, there has been a trend in recent months of home and facility owners considering lowering their air filtration level from MERV 11 to a lower rating such as MERV 8.
Is MERV 11 Air Filter Too High?
This article explains why it is not only safe but recommended to use the Honeywell MERV 11 filter in your heating and cooling system.
As a general guide, Merv 11 air filter is not too high. These filters are designed to last up to one year before needing replacement. Of course, the amount of use that the filter sees will depend on how dirty your air is at any given time.
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If you live near a number of chemical plants for example, then your Merv 11 MERV 11 air filter may need replacing more often than once every 12 months.
While the MERV 11 filter is effective enough to provide your home or office with clean filtered air, there’s nothing wrong to consider other options like the MERVE 11 air filter if you are having issues with your heating or cooling system.
In that regard, then you may want to replace your MERV 11 filter with a MERV 8. This would be fine for the purposes of resolving any problems that you’re currently experiencing, but this should not become your new standard operating procedure.
MERV 11 is still the level of filtration that is recommended for most homes and office facilities.
Honeywell claims in its literature for this product that MERV 11 filters are designed to last up to one year before replacement, which is longer than other products on the market.
So, even though there may be some problems with your air handling system, using the MERV 11 filter will at least keep your system operating efficiently.
Some companies are recommending MERV 8 filters, primarily because they are cheaper to purchase, install and replace. But all of these factors must be considered when deciding on replacement air filters for HVAC equipment.
While MERV 8 filters may be less expensive upfront, they will need to be replaced more often and that can end up costing you more in the long run.
The Difference Between Air Cleaners & Air Filters
First of all, you should know that not all air filters are air cleaners. In fact, some of the filters that people have been advised to purchase for use in their homes and office facilities will not clean the air at all.
For example, a standard fiberglass air filter with no special coatings or treatments on it is only going to trap large particles of dirt and dust as they pass through the filter.
This is why it is so important to purchase a high-quality air cleaner from a trusted provider of HVAC equipment. Air cleaners have been proven to capture up to 99% of all particles as small as 0.3 microns in size and larger (1 micron equals 1/1,000,000 of a meter).
So even though you may have a fiberglass air filter installed in your HVAC equipment, it may not reduce the amount of allergens and bacteria that are smaller than 1 micron.
MERV 8 vs. MERV 11 – The Differences
Before deciding on a MERV 8 or 11 air filter for HVAC equipment, it would be worthwhile to understand the differences between these two products. One of the main differences is in how much space each MERV rating occupies within your air handling system.
A standard fiberglass air filter with no special coatings or treatments will have a MERV rating between 1 and 4. So in order to get the most out of your air filter you will need to purchase a larger MERV 8 or 11 unit.
MERV 8 filters occupy about 30% more space than their MERV 11 counterparts, which is why they are able to capture fewer dust particles. This isn’t an issue if you live in a clean environment and you only need to replace your MERV 8 filters every 2-3 months.
But even though larger MERV 11 filters cost more upfront, they may last up to 6 months before needing replacement. This is the perfect size filter for homeowners who suffer from allergies or asthma and need to reduce allergens and contaminants in their homes.
Choosing From The Different MERV Ratings
When choosing HVAC air filters from a pool of different ratings, it is important to purchase the best filter your budget will allow.
The best way to determine what rating you need is by doing some calculations and research on your own, which can take time away from other, more pressing matters.
The solution may be as simple as calling a reputable company that supplies air cleaners and air filters for homeowners and office facilities.
They should be able to help you determine which MERV rating you need based on the size of your air handling system, the amount of space that is available for an air filter and how often or quickly you go through filters.
If you are interested in purchasing a high-quality HVAC air cleaner for your home, it may help to ask your current HVAC service provider to supply you with one. If they are unable to help, consider contacting a company that specializes in air cleaners and air filters for residential and commercial clients near you.
MERV 11 vs. MERV 8 – The Bottom Line
While both MERV 8 and MERV 11 air filters for HVAC equipment help reduce dust and pollen particles from the air, a MERV 11 filter is able to capture smaller allergens and contaminants that a standard fiberglass filter will miss. This makes it an optimal choice for those who suffer from allergies or asthma.
On the other hand, homeowners who live in relatively clean environments may be fine with a MERV 8 unit as these filters also reduce dust and pollen in the air.
However, MERV 8 and 11 HVAC air filters both come with their own set of benefits that could help improve the quality of life for anyone who suffers from allergies or asthma.
Why You Should Never Use Air Filters with More Than a MERV 8 Rating
There are good reasons for not using air filters with more than a MERV 8 rating.
One reason is that the more restrictive the air filter, the less air it is able to pass through. If you are using a MERV 11 or higher air filter, you will use more energy in your HVAC system because it has to run longer in order to circulate the same amount of air compared to a lower rated MERV unit.
Another reason why these filters are not used is due to the way that your HVAC equipment operates. As your system pulls air into it, it first draws in cleaner air near the filter and then moves on to pulling dirtier air further inside the unit.
By investing in a high-quality MERV 11 air filter, you can improve your home’s indoor air quality and reduce the amount of allergens that circulate throughout it.
The best use case scenario for air filters is also to help remove odors from the air. And, there are no better air filters to remove odor, impurities and allergen pollutants than the Honeywell MERV 11 airfilter, and Merrill filters.
They are highly efficient at removing odors, not just dust particles. Should you need to deodorize the indoor air, whether because of smoke or pet smells, Air cleaners with MERV 11 ratings can help you get rid of these odors.
The best use scenario for an air cleaner is when it cycles on and off. This makes it possible to detect when odors are present.
So, if you cycle on the air filter after an odor has been detected, the Honeywell MERV 11 filter will be able to pull out these pollutants so that they don’t circulate in your home’s air again.