Can a MERV 13 Filter Protect Against COVID-19?

If a MERV 13 or higher filter is recommended, does it meet your needs? A MERV 13 filter is a step in the right direction and captures more particles than a typical MERV 8 filter. However, it's not as effective at capturing small particles the size of a virus, such as the coronavirus, which is 0.1 microns in size. It can trap less than 75% of airborne particles that are 0.3-1.0 microns in size. Additionally, many existing HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems may not be able to adopt a MERV 13 filter due to the increased load on the fan caused by the finer filter media.

This can reduce airflow and cause more harm than good if the system is not designed to handle it. On average, many installations are limited to one type of MERV 8 or MERV 9 filter. It's important to note that even filters with the same rating may not be able to remove VOV* from the air. Filter King is committed to providing the best air quality at an affordable price and with the greatest possible comfort. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values and is a test method developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

A MERV 1 filter can only capture less than 20% of particles less than 10 microns wide. HEPA filters are the most efficient for residential or commercial use, followed by MERV 13-16 filters. The problem is that a HEPA is a filter medium that is too fine to implement in existing HVAC systems and the only way to add one to an installation is through a portable or stand-alone HEPA air filtration system with its own dedicated fan designed to increase the resistance of this type of filter. MERV 14 and higher can capture particles that are even smaller than previous MERV ratings, which range from 0.3 to 1.0 microns in size. So a good option to increase performance and maintain the engine of the “MERV 13″ Box Fan with Air Filter” is to opt for a 4 filter.

More efficient filters cause a greater drop in pressure and your air treatment unit may not have sufficient capacity, explains Ray Charles, founder of Household Air. For HVAC systems, ASHRAE recommends a filter with a minimum MERV rating of 13, but MERV 14 or higher is preferred. The Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) is an effectiveness scale for air filters developed by ASHRAE in 1987.

Clint Bouyer
Clint Bouyer

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