What HVAC Air Filter Do I Need?

Learn about the different types of air filters available for your HVAC system and how to choose the right one for your needs.

What HVAC Air Filter Do I Need?

Reusable air filters are a great option for those looking to save money and reduce waste. These filters can be washed and reused, eliminating the need for a complete replacement. Electrostatic filters are more expensive than fiberglass or pleated filters, but they offer a greater impact on your pocket in the long run. Pleated media filters have a MERV rating that ranges from 5 to 13, meaning they can trap mold spores, pet dander, and other airborne particles.

An independent test concluded that the increased pressure drop of high MERV filters is unlikely to be serious, at least until the filter is loaded with dirt. Changing air filters regularly has many benefits, such as improved system efficiency, longer system life, and a cleaner home environment. Households with indoor smokers and those without will need different air conditioning filters to achieve the same level of indoor air quality. When selecting an air filter, it's best to choose one with the highest MERV rating possible.

As the filter becomes dirty, less air can pass through the HVAC system, resulting in increased operating times and reduced efficiency. A filter is your HVAC system's first line of defense against dirt and dust, and it helps protect the internal components of the unit from damage. Investing in a home warranty can help protect your HVAC unit in case of failure. Electronic filters are more expensive than other types of filters, but they only need to be changed annually instead of monthly.

HEPA filters are often recommended by HVAC replacement companies because they provide the highest level of protection against airborne particles. When installing a new filter, make sure it is placed in the direction of air flow for optimal performance. Look for air filters labeled “allergy” or “allergen” if you're looking for one that can remove common allergens from the air. Filter King's filter selection tool can help you find the perfect size, thickness, and MERV rating for your needs.