Are All HVAC Air Filters the Same?

December 21, 2022 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

The air we breathe is vital to our physical health and well-being. A big component of our respiratory health is having clean HVAC air filters. It’s important to change them frequently. Most HVAC companies recommend that you replace your air filters at least every six months. Some think that replacing them quarterly is an even better strategy.

Is there a difference in home air filters? Is it worthwhile to spend considerably more money on higher-end, expensive air filters? Or are the cheap filters better? Let’s talk about the differences in price, quality, and functionality between expensive air filters versus cheaper air filters for your home’s HVAC system.

There is absolutely a difference in most air filters used in the home. Air filters are rated on the MERV scale, which ranges from 1 to 13. For instance, if the MERV rating of the filter you are using is 1, then it’s only going to grab a hold of the largest particles. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the holes in your filter will be. 

So, does this mean you should just buy the most expensive filter with the highest MERV rating that you can find? Not necessarily. The price range between a filter rated a 1 versus a filter with a MERV rating of 13 is quite different. Plus, the highest-rated filter with the tiniest holes to catch everything imaginable will get dirtier quicker and need replacing constantly. This will add up if you replace them monthly, as some do.

Another aspect that’s concerning about higher-rated air filters used in your HVAC system is the effect they can have on your actual HVAC unit. When higher-rated, more-expensive filters are used, they collect and accumulate far more dirt and dust. This causes your HVAC unit to have to work harder to pull more air through your filters and ducts. When your unit is overworked, this can lead to coils freezing or being burned out. A costly repair may be the next thing that happens. 

What can you do to ensure you’re getting the best quality air to breathe without risking damage to your HVAC unit while keeping your costs down for filters?

Many HVAC technicians recommend staying on the lower side of the MERV rating for filters. Using ones with larger space between the filter fibers allows for more airflow through them, so your HVAC system isn’t being overworked. This will make it less likely to break down. You just want to be sure to replace the cheaper filters more frequently, which is more easily affordable than using the highest MERV-rated filters, which, again, can overwork your HVAC system.

Talk with a reputable HVAC company today and discuss the best options for your home or business needs. Clean air is such an important thing related to our health, it’s advantageous to get a professional’s opinion regarding your filter needs. 



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