The Top Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Merv 11 Filter

Are you looking to improve the indoor air quality of your home or office? One of the best ways to do so is by investing in a MERV 11 filter. But, before you make that purchase, read on to discover the top mistakes to avoid.

From choosing the wrong size filter to not understanding the MERV rating system, many homeowners make common mistakes when selecting a filter. These mistakes can result in poor air filtration and decreased overall effectiveness. Don't make the same mistakes, read on to discover how to choose the perfect MERV 11 filter for your needs.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that you are purchasing a filter that will appropriately filter out particles, pollutants and other allergens from your indoor air. A MERV 11 filter can make a significant difference in the quality of air you breathe. Let's dive into the top mistakes you should avoid when buying one.

Not Measuring Your Air Filter Correctly

One of the most common mistakes that people make when buying a Merv 11 filter is not measuring their current air filter correctly. This can result in purchasing the wrong size filter and poor indoor air quality.

To measure your air filter correctly, take note of the dimensions printed on the existing filter or measure the length, width, and depth of the air filter frame. It's essential to ensure that your new Merv 11 filter matches the dimensions of your old one to avoid any gaps or air leaks that could reduce the filter's effectiveness.

Stockpiling filters that do not fit can also waste money and storage space. Be sure to measure the filters correctly, keeping in mind that some filters may come with fractional or rounded dimensions, which require rounding up or down to fit properly.

Additionally, it's crucial to check the direction of airflow indicated on the filter. Improper installation of air filters may cause damage to heating and cooling systems by causing strain on the motor and limiting the airflow. Again, referring to the old filter or checking the system's manual can help determine the right direction for air flow.

In conclusion, measuring a Merv 11 filter may seem simple but should never be overlooked. The benefits of the correct size filter will keep your indoor air cleaner, fully functional heating and cooling filters, and most importantly, your home healthy for you and your loved ones.

Not Understanding the MERV Rating System

When it comes to buying a MERV 11 filter, it's essential to understand the rating system. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, and it measures the filter's ability to capture particles of different sizes.

The rating system ranges from 1 to 20, with higher numbers indicating better filtration performance. A MERV 11 filter can capture particles between 1.0 to 3.0 microns, which includes household allergens like pollen, dust mites, and pet dander.

However, some consumers mistakenly assume that the higher the MERV rating, the better the filter. While this may be true to some extent, it's crucial to remember that filters with higher MERV ratings have a higher resistance to airflow.

This resistance can hinder your HVAC system's performance and cause it to work harder than necessary, leading to increased energy bills and a shorter system lifespan. It's essential to choose a MERV rating that strikes a balance between effective filtration and optimal airflow.

In conclusion, when purchasing a MERV 11 filter, take the time to understand the rating system and choose a filter that meets your specific needs. Consider factors like the size of the particles you need to filter and your HVAC system's airflow capacity to ensure you get the most out of your filter.

Why Choosing a Filter Based on Price Alone is a Big Mistake

When it comes to purchasing a Merv 11 filter for your HVAC system, it may be tempting to make your decision based solely on price. However, choosing a filter based on price alone can lead to a lot of problems down the line.

First and foremost, cheaper filters are typically made with lower quality materials that can result in decreased air flow and subpar filtration. This can lead to a build-up of dust and other contaminants in your home, which can aggravate allergies and other respiratory conditions.

Additionally, cheaper filters often need to be replaced more frequently than higher quality filters, which can end up costing you more money in the long run. Not only that, but constantly replacing a cheap filter can be time-consuming and frustrating.

Lastly, it's important to consider the long-term effects on your HVAC system. Using a low-quality filter can lead to a build-up of debris in your system, which can cause damage and ultimately result in costly repairs or replacement.

In short, choosing a filter based on price alone can be a big mistake. It's important to invest in a quality Merv 11 filter that will provide optimal air flow and filtration, save you money in the long run, and protect your HVAC system.

Don't Forget to Change or Replace Your Filter Regularly

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to buying a MERV 11 filter is forgetting to change or replace it regularly. While these filters are designed to last for several months, they do need to be changed on a regular basis in order to continue functioning properly.

When a filter becomes clogged with dirt, dust, and other particles, it can no longer effectively capture these contaminants from your indoor air. This can lead to a decline in indoor air quality, which can impact your health and well-being.

So, how often should you replace your MERV 11 filter? It depends on several factors, including the number of people living in your home, the presence of pets, and the level of indoor air pollution in your area. As a general rule of thumb, you should plan to replace your filter every three months or so.

Of course, this timeline can vary depending on your specific situation. If you have pets, you may need to replace your filter more frequently, as their hair and dander can quickly clog up a filter. Similarly, if you live in an area with high levels of outdoor pollution, you may need to replace your filter more often in order to maintain good indoor air quality.

Ultimately, the key is to be proactive about replacing your filter. Don't wait until you notice a decline in indoor air quality or until your filter is visibly dirty. Instead, make a note on your calendar to check your filter every three months and replace it as needed. This simple step can help to ensure that your indoor air is clean, healthy, and free of contaminants.

Neglecting to Consider Your Indoor Air Quality Needs

When it comes to purchasing a Merv 11 filter, many homeowners forget to consider their individual indoor air quality needs. These needs can vary greatly depending on the household's occupants, lifestyle, and overall air quality goals.

For example, if someone in your household suffers from allergies or asthma, a Merv 11 filter may not be sufficient enough to eliminate irritants like pollen or pet dander. In this case, a higher-rated filter may be necessary for better air quality.

In addition, if your lifestyle involves smoking indoors, using chemical cleaning products, or owning pets, you may require a filter with activated carbon to absorb and eliminate these odors and pollutants.

Lastly, it's important to consider your overall air quality goals. If you're aiming for the purest air possible, investing in a Merv 13 filter or even an air purifier may be necessary. However, if you're simply looking to filter out larger particles like dust and debris, a Merv 11 filter may suffice.

In conclusion, neglecting to consider your indoor air quality needs can result in choosing a Merv 11 filter that is ineffective for your household. By taking into account any allergies or sensitivities, lifestyle factors, and overall air quality goals, you can select a filter that provides the best air quality for your home.


Choosing a MERV 11 filter may seem like a simple task, but it can have a significant impact on the indoor air quality of your home. By avoiding these common mistakes when purchasing a MERV 11 filter, you can ensure that you are getting the most out of your air filtration system. Remember to consider the size of your HVAC system, brand reputation, filter density, and airflow resistance. Lastly, do not forget to change your filter regularly, as a dirty filter can cause your HVAC system to work harder and be less effective. By following these tips, you can enjoy cleaner and healthier air, and protect the health of yourself and your loved ones.

Frequently Asked Question

A MERV 11 filter is a mid-range air filter, suitable for most residential and commercial buildings. It is ideal for households with pets or mild to moderate allergies or asthma. The MERV 11 filter is capable of trapping 85% of micron-sized airborne particles, which helps to improve indoor air quality and maintain the efficiency of the HVAC system. If you don't have any special needs, then a MERV 8 filter is usually sufficient.

The only standardized filter rating system is MERV, which stands for “minimum efficiency reporting value”. Developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers, the rating scale indicates how effectively a filter can stop particles from entering your home. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filtration and the more the HVAC system needs to work to overcome the filter’s back pressure.

For residential and commercial use, MERV ratings 8 to 13 are best. MERV 4 to 6 are only suitable for industrial applications, while MERV 14 to 20 are used primarily in hospitals and laboratories. HEPA filters, which aren’t included in the MERV rating system, are equivalent to a MERV 17 to 20 rating. Lastly, there are other rating systems like MPR (Microparticle Rating) and FPR (Filter Performance Rating) but these are not independent consumer standards.

When it comes to choosing the right furnace filter for your home, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. To ensure that you make the best choice for your specific needs, you must consider various factors such as price, size, brand, and, most importantly, the MERV rating.

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, which is a rating system from 1 to 16 used to indicate how well the filter can capture airborne impurities. A MERV rating of 1 indicates the lowest efficiency, and 16 indicates the highest. MERV 8 and MERV 11 are two of the most popular ratings for residential use, as they are effective at trapping a majority of airborne particles.

So, which is better — MERV 8 or MERV 11? A MERV 8 filter is more affordable and perfect for filtering out large particles, but won't be as effective at capturing odors or small particles as a MERV 11 filter. MERV 11 filters are more expensive, and need to be replaced more often due to clogging, but can effectively reduce odors and capture small particles.

For the homes located in a polluted area, or those with pets or family members with allergies, a MERV 11 filter is the best choice. But if you don't fit into either of those categories, then a MERV 8 filter should suffice.

It is essential to keep in mind that the MERV rating for a filter is its minimum performance, and choosing the right one for your home will ensure that your HVAC system is functioning optimally.

Are you wondering what the difference is between MERV 11 and 13 furnace filters? Let us break it down for you.

MERV 11 filters are the most popular among residential users, and they can trap the majority of harmful contaminants in the air – this includes pollen, dust, lint, mold, dust mites, smoke, pet dander, and smog.

On the other hand, a MERV 13 filter is capable of capturing all of the particles that the 11 can, plus bacteria and viruses. This is due to its higher efficiency of particle arrestance (98%) compared to the 11 (90%).

When it comes to which one is better, it really depends on your needs. A MERV 11 is good enough for those living in moderately polluted areas, or those with mild allergies. But if you're in a heavily polluted area, or suffer from severe allergies/asthma, or own multiple pets – then the MERV 13 is the way to go.

No matter which rating you pick, it's important to remember to replace your filter periodically. Doing so will help ensure that your furnace remains in top shape for years to come.

MERV 11 air filters are more effective than MERV 8s, trapping smaller particles like pet dander, dust mites, auto-emissions and lung-damaging dust. This makes them a great choice for households with pets or those wanting improved air quality. It's also the most popular air filter option.

If you're looking for a middle-ground between MERV 8 and 13, MERV 11 is the perfect option. It’s more efficient than the 8, but cheaper than the 13, and won’t put extra pressure on your furnace due to its less dense material. Your furnace will last longer and your air will be healthier!

Before settling on a MERV rating, check your furnace's manual or info stickers to see what its max MERV rating is. Selecting an air filter with a higher rating than your system can handle can cause your furnace to work harder, increasing the risk of a breakdown.

MERV ratings are a standard that measure how well air filters work. The higher the rating, the finer the filtration, meaning fewer allergens, dust, and other contaminants can get through. Filters are tested for things such as pollen, dust mites, mold spores, pet dander, bacteria, tobacco smoke, and more.

Merv 8, 11, and 13 filters should be changed at least every three months. This is to ensure that your system doesn't get clogged, reducing its efficiency or damaging it. However, changing your filter every two months will give you even better filtration and healthier air in your home.

In short, the more often you change your MERV 11 filter, the better. A recommended minimum is every three months, but changing it every two months is even better for your home's air quality.