Are all HVAC air filters the same?

No, HVAC air filters vary in quality and measurements, and some have features that others don't. In most cases we advise installing the filter your HVAC manufacturer says to pair with your system.

All filters are classified with MERV ratings, which vary from 1–20. MERV means minimum efficiency reporting value.

A larger rating indicates the filter can grab finer substances. This sounds great, but a filter that catches finer dirt can become obstructed more rapidly, heightening pressure on your system. If your system isn’t created to work with this kind of filter, it might decrease airflow and create other troubles.

Unless you live in a medical facility, you likely don’t require a MERV ranking higher than 13. In fact, most residential HVAC equipment is specifically made to operate with a filter with a MERV ranking under 13. Sometimes you will find that quality systems have been engineered to operate with a MERV ranking of 8 or 11.

All filters with a MERV level of 5 should trap the majority of the common nuisances, such as pollen, pet dander and dust. Some filters claim to be able to stop mold spores, but we advise having a professional eliminate mold as opposed to trying to hide the trouble with a filter.

Usually the packaging shows how frequently your filter should be replaced. In our experience, the accordion-style filters hold up better, and are worth the additional price.

Filters are created from differing materials, with one-use fiberglass filters being most typical. Polyester and pleated filters grab more dirt but may limit your equipment’s airflow. Then there are HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters.

While you may tempted to use a HEPA filter, remember that's like putting a MERV 16 filter in your comfort system. It’s highly unlikely your system was made to run with level of resistance. If you’re troubled by indoor air quality. This product works in tandem with your heating and cooling system.

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