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MERV 6 Pleated Filter Or MERV 8 Filter

MERV 6 Pleated Filter Or MERV 8 Filter
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Question: With regard to pleated air conditioner filters do you think I can go with a MERV 6 filter or do you think I will be better served going with a MERV 8 filter?

A MERV 8 filter will perform better than a MERV 6 filter but the difference will be minimal. If you are not too concerned about dust a MERV 6 filter will do a good enough job. If you are looking for a big improvement in dust control you may want to try a MERV 11 or 12 pleated filter.



Pleated filters in the MERV 5 to 8 range will stop particles of 3 to 10 microns such as some mold spores, fibers, dust mites, some bacteria and fiberglass among other things.

MERV 9 to 12 filters stop particles of 1 to 3 microns such as smoke, bacteria, spray, fumes, coal dust and auto emissions and many other things.



About the author: Don has been working in the HVAC industry for more than 25 years and shares his experience and knowledge on this site. If you find the information presented here helpful please share with your friends.

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • jay jeffries

    Just purchased lenox heat pump. The installer said just put in a cheap filter. Which I did. The unit iced up & the filter was dirty and bulged it out. (The filter was in for less than 60 days . My question is should I use a cheap filter-or should I go to a better filter.

    • Don Munn

      Hi Jay,

      I’m not sure what you are referring to as a cheap filter. I typically consider fibreglass panel filters to be cheap. They have minimal impact on air flow, are inexpensive and usually take longer than other filters to become plugged with dust. Since the unit iced up in less than 60 days my first concern is the duct system may be undersized. But, you say the filter was bulging which is an indication that it was at it’s maximum dust loading capacity. I would contact the installer and mention what is happening and he should take a look to make sure everything is ok. It’s really difficult to say for sure if anything is wrong or not without looking at the equipment. I consider a better filter to be more efficient and therefore it will have a bigger impact on air flow and in your case that would not be good. Try changing the filter every 30 days and see if that solves the problem with it icing up.

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