Are all HVAC air filters the same?

No, HVAC air filters differ in quality and size, and some have specifications that others don't. In most instances we advise using the filter your HVAC manufacturer says to pair with your system.

All filters are assigned MERV ratings, which range from 1–20. MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value.

A bigger rating indicates the filter can grab more miniscule particles. This sounds outstanding, but a filter that traps finer dirt can become blocked more rapidly, increasing pressure on your unit. If your system isn’t created to function with this type of filter, it could lower airflow and lead to other troubles.

Unless you are in a medical center, you probably don’t have to have a MERV rating above 13. In fact, the majority of residential HVAC equipment is specifically designed to operate with a filter with a MERV ranking under 13. Sometimes you will learn that good systems have been engineered to run with a MERV ranking of 8 or 11.

All filters with a MERV rating of 5 should catch the majority of the daily annoyance, like pollen, pet dander and dust. Some filters say they can stop mold spores, but we suggest having a professional get rid of mold instead of trying to mask the problem with a filter.

Usually the packaging demonstrates how frequently your filter should be replaced. From what we know, the accordion-style filters hold up better, and are worth the added cost.

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

While you might tempted to use a HEPA filter, remember that's like installing a MERV 16 filter in your comfort unit. It’s very doubtful your equipment was designed to handle that amount of resistance. If you’re troubled by indoor air quality. This product works in tandem with your comfort system.