MERV 12 Vs. MERV 13: Basic Differences And Which One You Need?

Are you planning to get a furnace filter at your home? While it can be a great idea, there is something you should be considering before you go ahead with that.

You will have to go through the perfect MERV rating of the filter you choose for your home.

Many people have a hard time choosing between MERV 12 vs. MERV 13.

So, if you are like them and having trouble choosing between these two, then this article will greatly help you.

Differences Between MERV 12 And MERV 13 Rating

MERV 12 vs. MERV 13

To understand the differences and effects of these ratings, we will have to go through some general ideas behind these ratings.

So, let’s start from there and then progress slowly.

The first thing to know is that it’s typically better to go with the higher MERV rating. We have established that much.

With a higher MERV rating, you will get a filter that can efficiently trap the tiniest contaminants. You can get rid of any microparticles that can bother your health and well-being in any way.

One example of this contaminant is allergens.

On the other hand, a lower MERV rating on the filter tells you that it can trap large contaminants that you can typically see with your eyes—for example, dust or hair particles.

From this little description, you will surely go towards the higher MERV rating. But here’s the catch: you will have interference with the blower system with a higher MERV rating on a filter.

This will have a significant impact on the integrity of your blower if you are not careful with the MERV rating.

Well, now that you know how the ratings can affect your decision, let’s check out the impact of each rating on your blower.

MERV 12 Rating

When you go with a MERV rating of 12, you are first to ensure your blower stays uninterrupted.

It has that balance in the effectiveness, whether it’s the larger contaminants or the microscopic ones.

And it doesn’t cause any issues with your blower system, so everything works out.

As for the performance, you can rely on this to eliminate 90 percent of the larger contaminants like dust and hair particles. Really what you need to make your house dust-proof!

Along with that, it can get rid of 80 percent of microscopic contaminants without any issue. So, your home gets the perfect airflow that is free from any harmful contaminants.

Altogether, a filter with a MERV-12 rating has that balance between keeping the indoor air quality pure without interfering in the blower function of an HVAC system.

MERV 13 Rating

If there are people in your house with allergic reactions, then the MERV-13 rating on the filter is something you should be looking for.

It’s great for trapping all those microscopic contaminants like allergens and keep everyone safe from various airborne diseases.

Along with that, a filter with a MERV-13 rating can be very effective against larger contaminants.

One thing you can be assured of is that the air quality of your home will not go down that easily when you have a filter with a MERV-13 rating.

Now, if we are talking about the impact on your blower with a MERV-13 rating filter, then some questions will pop up.

Because a higher MERV rating will always have some impact on the blower, and it gets stronger as the rating goes up.

So, with the MERV-13 rating on your filter, you can expect some form of interference on the blower.

Which One To Choose?

Here’s the most difficult part, which one should you go for? The difference in performance between MERV-12 and MERV-13 ratings isn’t that much.

It’s a negligible difference if you are not nitpicking too much.

They both have excellent capabilities in trapping larger contaminants. While the MERV-13 may excel slightly in trapping the smaller contaminants, MERV-12 isn’t that far behind either.

Still, performance-wise you may consider MERV-13 to be the winner by a slight difference.

However, when you consider the impact of these ratings on your HVAC system, MERV-12 is a clear choice. Because MERV-13 rated filter will surely have some impact and stress on the HVAC blower function.

Usually, you will be leading your blower to work more than it’s meant to, which eventually burns it out completely. Repairing a blower can be very expensive, so you will surely want to avoid that from happening.

That’s why considering everything else, MERV-12 is a safer and better choice in most cases. There is not much difference in the performance either, so everything works out for you quite well when you go for the MERV-12 rating.

Choosing A MERV Rating For Your Need

Aside from what I just shared, there are two ways to determine the perfect MERV rating for your home. You have two factors that can help you choose the rating of your home.

  • Needed airflow

If you need a good amount of airflow in your home, go for an average or lower end of the MERV rating. But if you don’t care about airflow, then going with the highest MERV rating should always be your pick.

With a higher MERV rating, you can ensure better air quality by sacrificing a bit of airflow.

  • Allergies

Many people suffer from allergies due to germs and allergens in their houses. So, if you have people suffering from allergies, get the highest MERV rating on your filter.

This will make sure to clean up all the allergens in your home’s air to give you a house free of allergens.

Going through these two factors can also have a significant impact on which MERV rating you choose. As you can see, both these factors are completely personal preferences.

What Are MERV Filter Ratings?

Before I take you in-depth on the individual MERV ratings and their differences, you should know about MERV ratings first. If you already know what these ratings are, then you can skip this part.

So, a MERV rating of a furnace filter determines how many contaminants that filter can capture. The number usually stays between 0.3 to 1 micron.

Using this rating system, you can easily compare different furnace filters and their performance.

A higher MERV rating signifies a better performing filter; that’s pretty much the gist of MERV ratings. Now, there are different categories of MERV ratings, and they all have their unique purposes.

Even though a higher MERV rating is better performance, it may not be the best choice for your needs.

That’s why you will need to consider between different MERV ratings and see which one is perfect for your home and your needs.

Keeping that thought in mind, let’s check out the two MERV ratings we will be discussing here today. These will give you a little insight into the other MERV ratings, and you will understand how the system works.

Watch this video to have a better understanding of MERV ratings.

In short, choosing between MERV 12 vs. MERV 13 shouldn’t be that difficult. Unless you have allergy issues in your home, MERV 12 is always a better pick considering its effect on the blower system.

Also, the difference in performance for both these ratings isn’t that significant, so you should be fine even with the MERV 12 rating on your filter.

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