When it comes to air filtration, a Merv 8 filter is considered superior compared to filters with a lower MERV rating. But does it capture smoke? The answer is not as straightforward as you might think. A Merv 8 filter can capture particles that are 3.0 microns or greater in size. This includes aerosols, mold, and dust.
However, it is not designed to trap smaller particles such as pet dander and smoke, which are usually less than 0.3 microns in size. For most homes, a Merv 8 filter is more than adequate for trapping pollen, dust mites, and hair. But if you have allergies, pets, or live near smoke pollution, then a higher Merv rating, such as Merv 13, is the ideal choice. To be classified as a Merv 8, a filter must filter at least 70% of E3 particles (3.0-10.0 µm) and 20% of E2 particles (1.0-3.0 µm).
After performing standard dust tests, Essential was found to have a stop rate of 81.5%. This means that 81.5% of the dust particles introduced into the filter were successfully filtered out of the air. If your home's HVAC system is not capable of handling Merv 13, opt for a filter with the next highest possible rating. Filters with higher Merv ratings should be changed more frequently (at least every three months) to avoid restricted airflow that can cause the system to operate inefficiently or even damage it. In conclusion, while a Merv 8 filter can capture medium-sized particles such as aerosols, mold and dust, it is not enough to capture harmful viruses and bacteria, smoke and other forms of air pollution. If you are concerned about outdoor air pollution, family members with respiratory problems, or pets in the house, then a higher Merv rating, such as Merv 13, is the ideal choice.