Do High-Efficiency Air Filters Restrict Airflow?

When it comes to air filters, efficiency is key. But can an air filter be too efficient? The answer is yes, and it's important to understand the risks of high-efficiency air filters and how they can affect airflow. Modern HVAC systems are usually not affected by low airflow caused by an overly efficient air filter. The main issue is when the filter is not changed regularly, as this can lead to restricted airflow.

This can reduce comfort, increase energy use, and accelerate the wear and tear of air conditioning components. Low-efficiency filters are usually within the MERV 1-4 range, while high-efficiency filters are those of the MERV 13 and higher. If someone has an allergy or a respiratory problem, opt for a MERV 11 air filter or even a MERV 13 air filter. However, if your air conditioning system can use filters with a higher efficiency rating, we strongly recommend that you install MERV-13 air filters.

When it comes to choosing an air filter for your home, it's important to consider the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating. A MERV 8 air filter cannot filter out fine particles as well as a MERV 11 air filter. Dirty air filters significantly reduce air flow, making it difficult for the air conditioning system to work properly. Meanwhile, air filters with a MERV 14 rating or higher are designed for commercial HVAC systems that can withstand the coarser filter material.

If you're trying to choose between a MERV 8 air filter and a MERV 11 air filter, you need to know that the latter will better eliminate odors in homes with smokers or pets. Using an air filter with a MERV rating that is too high is just as bad as using one that is too low. Air filters with higher MERV ratings may filter more, but the thickness of the filter material may restrict airflow. It has been argued that opting for a high-efficiency filter will end up hurting homeowners because of the increases they will receive in their energy bills, but the conclusion is that the impact of higher-rated filters on energy bills is not significant enough to take this into account. In conclusion, an air filter that is too efficient can cause low airflow, but this is not usually a problem for modern HVAC systems. The main risk of high-efficiency air filters is that they are not modified for long periods of time, and if they are not changed regularly, they can negatively affect airflow.

It's important to find the right one to remove contaminants from your home while maintaining a constant air flow.

Jason Voisin
Jason Voisin

Unapologetic beer advocate. Passionate tv fan. Award-winning zombie enthusiast. Incurable coffeeaholic. Typical troublemaker.