Are all HVAC air filters the same?

No, HVAC air filters differ in quality and measurements, and some have specs that others don't. In most cases we recommend installing the filter your HVAC manufacturer suggests pairing with your system.

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

A larger value demonstrates the filter can catch finer substances. This sounds good, but a filter that traps finer dust can clog faster, heightening pressure on your equipment. If your system isn’t designed to function with this model of filter, it might reduce airflow and create other troubles.

Unless you reside in a medical center, you probably don’t require a MERV level higher than 13. In fact, the majority of residential HVAC equipment is specifically made to operate with a filter with a MERV ranking lower than 13. Frequently you will discover that decent systems have been engineered to work with a MERV rating of 8 or 11.

All filters with a MERV level of 5 should trap the majority of the common annoyance, like pollen, pet dander and dust. Some filters claim to be able to trap mold spores, but we recommend having a professional get rid of mold rather than trying to conceal the problem with a filter.

Sometimes the packaging demonstrates how regularly your filter should be replaced. From what we know, the accordion-style filters hold up better, and are worth the extra price.

Filters are manufactured from varying materials, with single-use fiberglass filters being standard. Polyester and pleated filters trap more dirt but may decrease your unit’s airflow. Then there are HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters.

While you could be interested in using a HEPA filter, know that's like installing a MERV 16 filter in your comfort unit. It’s very doubtful your unit was created to run with level of resistance. If you’re worried about indoor air quality. This unit works along with your heating and cooling system.

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