Different Types of HVAC Air Filters Explained

Are all HVAC air filters the same? The answer is no. They vary in quality, size, and features. To get the best filtration efficiency, it is best to use the filter that the manufacturer of your air conditioning system recommends. All filters have a MERV rating, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value.

This rating ranges from 1 to 20. It is not recommended to use a 2- or 4-inch air filter with your central air system as it may not provide the same level of filtration efficiency. To ensure that your air is properly filtered, you should consider installing a whole-house air purifier or placing a UV lamp inside the air conditioning unit. Using an incorrect size filter can cause resistance to airflow and put unnecessary stress on the air conditioning unit, leading to damage and higher energy bills.

Larger filters have more filter material and can accumulate and retain more dust, pollen, and smoke before needing to be changed. To prevent dust from accumulating on the air conditioner intake vent cover, it is important to replace the air filters regularly. Most air conditioning and HVAC units use standard-sized filters, but some require custom-sized filters. If you change your air filters at the recommended intervals (usually 90 days), dust won't accumulate to the point of covering the ventilation grilles of the air conditioning vents. In recent years, manufacturers have begun adding more folds (or pleats) to their air filters, increasing their surface area.

This allows for more filter material while still allowing for adequate airflow. When replacing an air filter, it should be slightly smaller on each side of the groove in the filter housing so that it can be easily slid in and out. Now that you know about the different types of HVAC air filters available and how to properly install them, you can ensure that your home is filled with clean, breathable air.

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