Do More Expensive HVAC Filters Really Work?

Do more expensive HVAC filters really work? The answer is yes, in general, more expensive air filters are more effective. But the amount of filtration you need depends on your individual circumstances. For instance, a single person without pets and allergies may not need as much filtration as a family of five with three pets and a child with asthma. It's also important to consider how long your air filter will last.

You'll pay more for a washable air filter because it can last for years, rather than months. While this is a good idea in theory, it has several drawbacks, such as lower MERV rates, frequent maintenance requirements, and the possibility of attracting mold to the air unit. A study conducted by ASHRAE found that filters with a MERV rating of 4 or less met this standard, while a filter with a MERV rating of 8 doubled the pressure drop and a MERV rating of 11 tripled it. Disposable filters are made of pleated paper or polyester that provide a larger surface area for filtering.

FilterBuy sells more expensive air filters for a reason: they're worth it because of their quality and comfort. Oven filters not only prevent the system from clogging with dust and dirt, but they also clean the air in your home. If you have an unusually sized filter area, some online companies are manufacturing custom filters for those unique systems. Choose one with more folds, which means a thicker filter for particles to pass through, but also more surface area for air to pass through.

Finally, look for online stores that offer discounts for setting up recurring shipments of air filters (ours is 5%, for example). Air conditioning filters filter many different particles out of the air before they flow through the HVAC unit fan and into your home. That's why it's important that you only use air filters with the MERV rating recommended by the HVAC system manufacturer. First, to reduce the size of the air filter and not leave the store empty-handed, you definitely need to go to the store to find out what size air filter you need for your system.

Replacing a filter with any humidity in the HVAC system creates an ideal environment for mold growth, which will then circulate through the air you breathe. The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) standards for HVAC design assume that the pressure will decrease in the air filter of an HVAC unit. If all dimensions are the same, a filter with a higher MERV rating and more folds per inch will have the same or better air flow than the same filter with a lower MERV rating and fewer creases. It turns out that both ovens and central air conditioning units use the same filters and perform the same functions.

That's a myth: the additional surface allows more air to pass through, so the central AC unit doesn't have to work as hard to push air through it. If you've changed all your air filters and the air still looks moldy or dusty, you could have a crack or a break in the air return duct.