How to Find the Right HVAC Filter for Your Home

If you're looking to replace the air filter in your home, it's important to know what size and type of filter you need. The size of the filter is measured using length, width and depth, and the type of filter is determined by its MERV rating. To find the right filter for your home, start by turning off the oven and removing the existing oven filter. Look for an arrow on the filter that indicates the direction of air flow and use a permanent marker to draw the direction of the air flow outside the oven.

Consult the boiler manual or existing filter to determine the dimensions, or use a measuring tape if necessary. A quality air filter must have a MERV rating labeled on the filter or on the packaging. The MERV rating represents the minimum efficiency report value and indicates the filter's ability to capture particles while filtering smaller particles from indoor air. The higher the MERV index, the more particles will be trapped and removed from your home.

The disadvantage of an overly high MERV rating is that airflow is slightly reduced compared to an average rating. When buying a new filter for your HVAC system, it's important to measure the length and width (L x W) of your existing filter. If it's not a square, make sure to take note of the smallest measurement first. Filters should be changed every 30 to 90 days, depending on the type and efficiency of the filter.

If an air filter is too small, air gaps will be created and contaminants will avoid the filter material. The initial price of installing an electronic filter may be high, but it's perfect for people who don't change their filters once a month as recommended, since they can be changed annually. There are several good quality air filters to choose from that offer excellent filtering options without compromising the unit's airflow. ASHRAE analyzes filters for particles such as pollen, dust, dust mites and smoke by determining the MERV rating of each filter. The filters themselves vary in price, but the actual electronic filter housing must be installed before purchasing an electronic media filter. Replacing your oven filter in a timely manner is much easier when you know what size air filter you need.

Buying a filter that is “close enough” to what your system needs will allow dirt and dust to escape to the vents through the holes and gaps between the air duct and the filter. There is another type of filter (a high-efficiency pleated filter with a MERV of 14 to 20), but most household ovens cannot withstand blowing air through this filter.

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