What Kind of Air Filter Should I Use?

The short answer is, no, they are not all the same. In fact, there are many different types of air filters available and choosing the right one can make a real difference to the lifespan of your HVAC system. Most air filters are 1 inch thick, but some systems can accommodate filters 2 to 5 inches thick. In our tests, we found that the thicker the filter, the better it works and the longer the replacement intervals.

This means it's better for you and your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Most disposable filters for home air conditioning systems are fiber. Polyester filters, while more expensive, offer improved ability to stop dust and allergens. Pleated designs tend to have higher MERV ratings. At its most basic function, an air filter removes impurities such as dust, pet dander, or even bacteria from the air that flows through the system.

Not only does this improve the air quality inside your home, but it also protects your HVAC system from potential damage. Not all filters are built equal, so choosing the right filter depends on what you need to purify the air. You'll also want to consider factors such as the cost of filters. It's wise to talk to an HVAC professional before making any decisions about air filters. To help gather information and weigh your options, you can compare the basic pros and cons of each type of filter.

Let's take a look at each type of filter and its features to narrow down the types that may be right for your home. Air filters remove particles of different sizes from the air before the air flows through the blower and into the rest of the house. Not only do filters remove dust, allergens, mold spores and other pollutants from the air your family breathes, but they also filter out fine dirt particles that can degrade the performance of the HVAC system itself. When it comes to the health and comfort of your family, friends, and other guests, it's a good idea to get the most efficient air filter you can afford. Not only do filters allow people to breathe easier, but they can also reduce odors and make your home a more pleasant place to live.

And if you really want to purify the air in your home, consider adding an air purifier. The magnetism is strong enough to prevent these particles from spreading throughout the house, making them one of the best options for those who need a filter that can combat allergens. This is important because the concentration of air pollutants inside your home can be two to five times higher than the concentrations normally found outdoors. This is particularly important to remember if you live in areas that see a lot of air pollution from things like smog. The numbers you end up with may not be exact, but generally the closest filter size to your numbers is what you should get. Flat filters should be changed every 3 months or monthly if there are allergies, pets, or someone smokes.

Because pleated filters slightly improve the air quality in your home, they are a reasonably priced option for people who are concerned about indoor air quality. Given that the average person ranks air filters around different types of cement and how cardboard is made on the list of things that interest them, it's not surprising that many don't know what makes a quality air filter “quality”. In contrast, media filters have a larger surface area, which successfully avoids significant static pressure and provides better filtration. In almost all traditional forced air systems, the air filter is placed between the return duct and the HVAC unit itself. That's why it's important to use only air filters with the MERV rating recommended by the manufacturer of your HVAC system. The Minimum Efficiency Report Value (MERV) is a measure used to assess a filter's ability to remove particles from the air.

Having central air conditioning and heating is certainly an advantage in the eyes of many homeowners, but like all major appliances in the house, your HVAC system must be well maintained to ensure maximum efficiency. If you have low airflow, check your air filter; a clogged filter is one of the most common reasons. Usually, all you have to do is take out the old filter and write down the dimensions that are labeled on the edge of the filter. This fine level of filtration provides more resistance to airflow, which can put a residential HVAC system to the test.

Willis Diruzzo
Willis Diruzzo

Typical sushi enthusiast. Infuriatingly humble music geek. Typical internetaholic. Subtly charming social media maven. Lifelong bacon buff.