The term MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value. It is a filter performance rating system. It was developed by the American Society of Heating, refrigerating, and air conditioning engineers – ASHRAE.
The following is a detailed comparison of the performance and features of MERV 10 and MERV 11 filters.
What is Merv 10?
MERV 10 furnace filters are more efficient than those with lower ratings like MERV 8. A MERV 10 furnace filter can trap large percentages of average and big contaminants.
For example, a MERV 10 air filter can trap 65% to 79% of average-sized contaminants. MERV 8 air filters cannot trap these contaminants that are 1 to 3 microns wide.
Also, MERV 10 air filters can trap over 85% of large contaminants. MERV 8 air filters can trap an average of 75% of large particles.
- They cause less airflow resistance than higher MERV rating filters
- More effective in filtering the air than lower MERV ratings like MERV 8
- Less damaging to the HVAC system than MERV 13 and higher
- It can remove different types of contaminants, including fine dust, dust mites, and lead dust
- MERV 10 air filters are not effective in removing contaminants of finer particle size
- A MERV 10 furnace filter causes more airflow resistance than a MERV 8 one
What is Merv 11?
Under the MERV rating system, MERV 11 air filters can remove fine particles. But it cannot perform like the higher-rated filters of MERV 13 and above.
The good news is that you can use a filter with a MERV rating of 11 to keep your house clean. The filter’s MERV rating enables it to trap large percentages of contaminants of different sizes.
But a filter with a MERV rating of 11 may damage your HVAC system. Such air filters have high resistance to airflow. The pressure drop may damage the blower and other components of your AC unit.
You may be better off with a MERV 8 air filter. Using a MERV 8 air filter will protect your air conditioning system.
- MERV 11 air filters can remove small components like fine dust and lead dust
- MERV 11 air filters are more efficient than MERV 8 and lower ones
- It can deal with bad odors in the house
- The air filters can damage the HVAC system due to high-pressure drop
- The air filters have high airflow resistance. This is common if the air filters have pleated surfaces.
Merv 10 vs. Merv 11: In-Depth Comparison
Merv 10 vs. Merv 11: Allergen Removal Capabilities
Allergens are small particles that cause allergic reactions. People may be allergic to different substances. For example, some people are allergic to mold spores. Some are very sensitive to dust mites.
When any of these materials are present, people who are sensitive to them may experience breathing problems.
If you have a person with asthma, you must ensure the indoor air quality is perfect. A good furnace filter can remove all the allergens from the air. This will ensure no one experiences allergic reactions.
A filter’s ability to remove particles of different sizes depends on its MERV rating. Although MERV 10 can effectively trap contaminants, it cannot trap all of them.
A MERV 10 filter will remove between 65% and 79% of mid-sized contaminants. These particles measure between 1 and 3 microns wide. They may include humidifier dust, pet dander, and smoke particles.
But a MERV 11 furnace filter will remove between 80% and 89% of the same contaminants. These contaminants are some of the most common allergens found in homes. So, a MERV 11 filter is more effective in removing airborne allergens than a MERV 10 filter.
Merv 10 vs. Merv 11: Mold Reduction Capabilities
Mold spores, pet dander, dust mites, and other particles measure between 1 and 3 microns wide. They are average-sized airborne particles. Any furnace filter with a MERV rating of 8 or higher can trap such particles.
But what matters is the percentage of particles that the filter can trap. So, it would help if you had the right MERV rating to keep your house free of mold.
MERV 10 and 11 are suitable for reducing mold spores. MERV 10 can trap between 65% and 79% of particles similar to mold spores. Mold spored measures between 1 and 3 microns wide. So, MERV 10 filters can remove between 65% and 79% of mold spores in your home.
MERV 11 can trap between 80% and 89% of contaminants of average size. These are airborne particles that measure between 1 and 3 microns in diameter. So, MERV 11 furnace filters will remove 80% to 89% of the mold spores in your home.
A filter’s effectiveness in reducing mold spores depends on its MERV rating. The higher the MERV rating, the more effective the filter. MERV 10 and 11 filters can reduce mold in your house.
But MERV 11 filters are more effective than MERV 10 ones. If your house is full of mold spores, you should choose MERV 11 furnace filters.
Merv 10 vs. Merv 11: Odor Removal Capabilities
Foul odors in the house reduce the indoor air quality. The odors may come from different sources. The most common sources are tobacco smoke, liquors, and cooking. Also, cleaning agents, sewers, and hair spray may produce odors.
You need a higher MERV rating to remove odors from your home successfully. MERV ratings of less than 8 may not be effective in removing odors.
According to the American Society of Heating, refrigerating, and air conditioning engineers, this is according to the American society. The MERV rating chart shows that filters with low MERV ratings cannot deal with odors.
MERV 10 and MERV 11 filters can remove particles that cause bad odors. But MERV 11 is more effective than MERV 10 in removing bad odors.
If the bad odors come from large particles, MERV 11 will remove more than MERV 10. However, if the odors are from small particles, MERV 11 filters will still filter a higher percentage than MERV 10.
It would help if you got the right minimum efficiency reporting value to deal with odors. The higher the MERV rating, the more the filter performance rating.
But consider the amount of pressure drop that the filter can cause. This is usually not indicated in any MERV rating chart.
Merv 10 vs Merv 11: Efficiency
The efficiency of an air filter is the amount of contaminants it can remove. Remember that pleated filters have a higher level of pressure drop.
So, if you have a pleated filter with even relatively lower MERV ratings, it may restrict airflow. On the other hand, air filters with high MERV ratings are usually very efficient.
The air filters can remove large percentages of all types of contaminants. Air filters with low MERV ratings can remove only small percentages of contaminants. Also, air filters with low MERV ratings cannot filter very small particles.
MERV 10 air filters can trap 65% to 79% of average-sized contaminants. A MERV 11 air filter can trap between 80% and 89% of average-sized contaminants. So, a MERV 10 air filter is less efficient than a MERV 11 one.
But you need to consider your HVAC system before choosing a high MERV rating. Air filters with high MERV ratings may damage your HVAC system. This is because such air filters have high airflow resistance. The high resistance to airflow causes an increased pressure drop in the HVAC system.
Merv 10 vs Merv 11: Particle Size
MERV 10 and MERV 11 air filters can remove different percentages of particles. A MERV 11 air filter can remove more than 85% of large contaminants.
These are particles that are between 3 and 10 microns wide. They are the largest and easy to remove. Dust particles, carpet fibers, and others are examples of large contaminants.
A MERV 11 air filter can trap more than 90% of large particles. So, MERV 11 air filters are more effective in removing large particles than MERV 10 ones.
A MERV 10 air filter can trap between 65% and 79% of average-sized contaminants. These are particles that range in size from 1 to 3 microns. Some examples are dust mites, pet dander, and humidifier dust. Others include cement dust and lead dust.
Air filters with a MERV rating of 11 can remove between 80% and 89% of such particles. So, an air filter with a MERV rating of 11 is quite effective in removing such contaminants.
Stand out Features of Merv 11 air Filter
MERV 11 furnace filters are ideal for heavily polluted areas. Such filters trap the smallest particles, including virus carriers and finer particles.
If your MERV 11 furnace filter has a pleated surface, its air filtration capacity increases dramatically. Using an air filter with a MERV rating of 11 will ensure a clean home.
The filter will trap even large particles like carpet fibers and sanding dust. But MERV 11 filters cause a higher pressure drop than any filter with a low MERV rating.
But if you are worried about airflow resistance, go for a lower MERV rating. MERV 8 filters still work relatively well without creating a high-pressure drop.
Is MERV 10 good enough?
MERV 10 is good enough for removing most of the common airborne particles. A MERV 10 furnace filter can remove pet dander, dust particles, and other common contaminants. Such a filter can also remove common contaminants that cause allergies. So, installing a MERV 10 filter can improve the air quality in your home.
Is MERV 11 too high?
MERV 11 is not too high. Higher MERV ratings like 13 and above usually restrict airflow. However, MERV 11 filters regularly trap airborne particles of small and average size. So, MERV 11 is not too high because it does not restrict airflow. Also, this MERV rating is enough to deliver the air filtration performance you may need in your home.
Is MERV 10 too high?
MERV 10 is not too high. Generally, filters with MERV ratings ranging from 10 to 13 are not too high. Such filters are excellent for residential use. They trap particles that commonly contaminate the air in residential buildings. Also, these MERV ratings are not high enough to restrict airflow.
Are MERV 11 filters too restrictive?
MERV 11 is good for air filtration. It can trap small particles that measure less than 1 micron in diameter. It can also trap large particles between 3 and 10 microns wide. MERV 11 rating is not too restrictive. Filters with higher MERV ratings than 13 are too restrictive. They cause a high-pressure drop in the HVAC systems.
MERV 10 and MERV 11 fall within the mid-range of the MERV rating system. You can use MERV 10 for air filtration in a regular home.
Such a filter can trap all common physical contaminants like dust particles and dust mites. You can use MERV 11 if you want a high MERV rating. MERV 11 can trap smaller particles, like cement dust and tobacco smoke.