With many governing agencies suggesting or requiring MERV 13 or higher filters since COVID 19, many questions have been raised.
- How restrictive are they?
- Will the HVAC unit freeze up?
- Will the air flow be affected?
These are valid questions but there are some points that are often overlooked. Most if not all MERV 13 filters have more media and pleats in them to reduce the static pressure. Manufacturer data and our own testing shows that going from a standard capacity MERV 8 to a high capacity MERV 13 does not affect the static pressure much. The main thing to consider is that by filtering more out of the air, the filters will load up faster. Where you may be getting 3 months out of a MERV 8 filter, you may find that a MERV 13 will last 2 months. This of course depends on the cleanliness or traffic in the area being filtered. A general rule of thumb would be to plan on getting two thirds of the life of a MERV 8.
Other benefits of filtering better include:
- reduced allergy and sickness
- reduced dust in the occupied area
- cleaner HVAC coil, increasing unit life
While increasing filtration may come with some added costs, the tradeoffs mentioned above can really offset this. Improving indoor air quality will often increase moral of staff and the health of both the staff and the HVAC equipment!