Which HVAC System Filter is Best for You: HEPA or MERV?

When it comes to selecting the right filter for your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system, it's essential to understand the distinctions between HEPA and MERV filters. HEPA filters are more effective at eliminating small particles from the air, while MERV filters are better at removing large particles. MERV 13 filters can take out up to 99.97% of particulates from the air, while HEPA filters can remove up to 99.99%.The MERV rating of a filter is used to compare the efficiency of different air filters. A filter with a MERV rating of 13 to 16 is considered high-quality and can remove up to 75% of all airborne particulates of 0.3 microns or larger from the air.

HEPA filters can capture up to 99.7% of all contaminants of 0.3 microns or more using a dense layer of fibers arranged in a specific configuration. In addition, the MERV evaluates a filter's ability to trap microscopic and macroscopic particles; FPR ratings only consider the filter's ability to capture or remove particles from 0.3 to 1 micron. If you were to use the HEPA test on a 95% ASHRAE air filter, it would have an efficiency of around 50% on 0.3 micron particles once they have been charged with dust. HEPA air filters are tested with DOP, mineral oil, and other materials that generate monodisperse particles that are all. Although you can find HEPA filters in some air purifiers and vacuums, their use is actually very limited. Typically, these filters trap up to 90% of particles between 1 and 10 microns, and MERV 13 filters can trap up to 75% of the smallest particles between 0.3 and 1 micron. It requires an incredibly powerful air conditioning system to be able to properly suck air through a HEPA filter.

Part of the reason HEPA filters are so rarely used is that they are extremely restrictive in terms of airflow. When deciding which type of filter is best for your HVAC system, it's important to consider both the efficiency and airflow restrictions of each type. MERV 13 filters are more efficient at removing large particles from the air, while HEPA filters are more efficient at removing small particles from the air. However, HEPA filters are much more restrictive in terms of airflow than MERV 13 filters. If you have serious allergies or other health concerns, then a HEPA filter may be your best option as it can capture up to 99.7% of all contaminants of 0.3 microns or more from the air. However, if you're looking for a more efficient filter without sacrificing too much airflow, then a MERV 13 filter may be your best bet.