Are all HVAC air filters the same?

No, HVAC air filters are different in quality and measurements, and some have features that others don't. In most situations we suggest installing the filter your HVAC manufacturer suggests pairing with your unit.

All filters are classified with MERV ratings, which vary from 1–20. MERV means minimum efficiency reporting value.

A higher value means the filter can catch smaller particulates. This sounds great, but a filter that traps finer dust can become blocked more rapidly, raising pressure on your unit. If your unit isn’t made to function with this kind of filter, it can lower airflow and cause other problems.

Unless you live in a medical facility, you more than likely don’t require a MERV level greater than 13. In fact, many residential HVAC equipment is specifically engineered to run with a filter with a MERV rating under 13. Frequently you will learn that quality systems have been designed to operate with a MERV rating of 8 or 11.

All filters with a MERV rating of 5 should get most of the daily annoyance, including pollen, pet dander and dust. Some filters assert they can catch mold spores, but we recommend having a professional eliminate mold rather than trying to hide the issue with a filter.

Sometimes the packaging indicates how often your filter should be changed. From what we’ve seen, the accordion-style filters hold up better, and are worth the added cost.

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

While you might tempted to use a HEPA filter, keep in mind that's like adding a MERV 16 filter in your comfort equipment. It’s extremely unrealistic your unit was created to run with level of resistance. If you’re troubled by indoor air quality in Haltom City, think over adding a HEPA-grade air filtration system. This unit works along with your HVAC system.