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 suggest installing the filter your HVAC manufacturer says to pair with your system.

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

A larger value demonstrates the filter can catch finer particles. This sounds outstanding, but a filter that traps finer dirt can clog more rapidly, raising pressure on your system. If your system isn’t created to run with this model of filter, it might lower airflow and lead to other troubles.

Unless you reside in a medical center, you probably don’t require a MERV ranking higher than 13. In fact, many residential HVAC units are specifically engineered to run with a filter with a MERV level 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 many common triggers, like pollen, pet dander and dust. Some filters claim to be able to stop mold spores, but we recommend having a professional get rid of mold rather than trying to mask the trouble with a filter.

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

Filters are created from varying materials, with single-use fiberglass filters being standard. Polyester and pleated filters trap more dust 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 heating and cooling equipment. It’s very unrealistic your unit was created to run with level of resistance. If you’re worried about indoor air quality in Hurricane, think about adding a HEPA-grade air filtration system. This product works in tandem with your heating and cooling system.