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What Are MERV 8 Filters and Why Are They So Popular?

MERV 8 filters are a type of pleated air filter that is commonly used in residential and commercial HVAC systems. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, a rating system that measures the effectiveness of air filters in capturing airborne particles of various sizes. MERV 8 filters have a MERV rating of 8, indicating they are effective at capturing particles like dust, pollen, and pet dander.

Multiple layers of filter media are folded or pleated in a consistent pattern to create MERV 8 filters with a larger surface area. This design offers a larger space for particle capture and more effective airflow through the filter. MERV 8 filters are typically constructed from synthetic fibres or pleated paper and are made to fit into commonplace grilles or filter housings. 

For residential and commercial HVAC systems that must balance filtration effectiveness with airflow resistance, MERV 8 filters are generally a good option. They have a lower pressure drop than higher MERV-rated filters like MERV 11–16 but are more effective than MERV-rated filters like MERV 1-4. MERV 8 filters effectively capture larger particles like pollen and dust, but smaller particles like smoke or bacteria may not be as effectively captured.

Here are a few reasons why MERV 8 filters are popular:

To increase the surface area of the filter, MERV 8 filters employ multiple layers of filter media that are folded or pleated uniformly. The different layers of filter media capture and trap airborne particles of various sizes, such as dust, pollen, and pet dander, as the air passes through the filter.

In most cases, synthetic fibers or pleated paper are used as the filter media in MERV 8 filters. Due to the electrostatic charge of these materials, particles are drawn to and captured as they pass through the filter.


MERV 8 filters provide a good balance of filtration performance and airflow resistance, making them a popular choice for many HVAC applications. However, it’s important to choose the right filter for your specific needs and regularly replace it to ensure proper filtration performance and system efficiency.


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