Can my furnace handle a MERV 13 filter?
Herein, what MERV rating can my furnace handle?
Higher rated filters allow less air to flow through though and can force your furnace to work harder and possibly malfunction. A MERV rating between eight and 11 is adequate for most homes. To be safe, you should check if your furnace manufacturer has a maximum MERV rating your model of furnace can use.
In this regard, will MERV 13 hurt my furnace?
Here's the problem: Some filters with a high MERV rating can drop air pressure in your duct system, which can increase energy bills and damage your HVAC system. For example, let's say you have a pleated filter that's 1-inch thick and has a 13 MERV rating.
A decade ago, it used to be that if you had an HVAC system that used panel filters rated 6 through 9 MERV, putting in a MERV 11 or higher filter would restrict airflow (known as filter pressure drop). In turn, this would lengthen the system's run-time, adding to your heating and cooling costs.