What is the Difference Between HEPA and MERV Air Filters?

When it comes to air filters, there are two main types: HEPA (High-Efficiency Particulate Air) and MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value). Both of these filters are designed to capture particles from the air, but they have different levels of efficiency. MERV 13 filters are more effective at removing large particles, while HEPA filters are better at trapping small particles. A HEPA filter with a MERV 17 rating can capture up to 99.99% of particles from the air, including those as small as 0.3 microns.

This is much higher than a MERV 13 filter, which can only remove up to 99.97% of particles from the air. In addition, a HEPA filter can capture an even greater percentage of particles that are larger or smaller than 0.3 microns. The cost of a HEPA filter is usually higher than a MERV filter, but it is worth it for certain applications such as construction zones, medical facilities, and educational facilities. For most residential spaces, a MERV 11-13 filter is sufficient.

However, it is important to be aware that some air filters are more efficient than others, so it is best to do your research before purchasing one. When looking for the best home air filter, you should also consider the energy consumption of the filter. Trapping particles in the filter can reduce the amount of harmful particles in the air, but it also requires the fan in your air conditioning equipment to work harder and consume more energy. The table below lists some of the air contaminants that air filters can capture based on their MERV classification:

MERV RatingParticle Size
MERV 83-10 microns
MERV 111-3 microns
MERV 130.3-1 micron
In conclusion, when it comes to air filters, HEPA filters are the ultimate solution and far exceed what a MERV 13 can do. If you want to improve the indoor air quality (IAQ) of your facility, you should consider investing in a HEPA filter. It is important to understand the differences between HEPA and MERV air filters in order to make an informed decision about which type of filter is best for your needs. By understanding how each type of filter works and what contaminants they can capture, you can ensure that you are getting the most out of your air filtration system.

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