The short answer is, no, they’re not all the same. In fact, there are many different types of air filters available and choosing the right one can make a real difference in the lifespan of your HVAC system. … You see, the higher the MERV rating
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Are all AC air filters the same?

No, HVAC air filters differ in quality and dimensions, and some have features that others don’t. In most instances we advise using the filter your HVAC manufacturer recommends pairing with your system. All filters are assigned MERV ratings, which go from 1–20.

Are all AC filters the same size?

Unfortunately, that’s not the case – there are about 20 “standard sizes” for air filters, and none have the same measurements. Why is getting a correctly sized air filter so important? Because incorrectly sized (and incorrectly installed) air filters cause air seepage and decrease filter effectiveness.

How do you know what air filter to buy?

Simply, you need the filter size that fits in your air return. You can typically find that size on the side of the air filter that you already have in use. This size will be the nominal size, which means it is rounded from its actual size.

Does the type of air filter matter?

Yes, in general, the more expensive air filters are more effective, but a single person with no pets and allergies might not need as much filtration as a family of five with three pets and a child with asthma. Also consider how long your air filter will last.

Can I use any air filter?

The short answer is, no, they’re not all the same. In fact, there are many different types of air filters available and choosing the right one can make a real difference in the lifespan of your HVAC system. … You see, the higher the MERV rating, the more the filter restricts air flow.

Do AC units have two filters?

Scenario 1: Your HVAC system has multiple return ducts. This is the most common reason why your central air system has two air filters. … Having multiple return vents solves this problem, but it also requires air filters at each vent to properly filter the air and prevent particulates from getting into your fan motor.

How do I know my air filter size?

Actual Size: The actual size of an air filter is typically written in the fine print on the frame of the filter and is usually 0.25″-0.5″ smaller than the advertised, nominal size. The actual size is what you’d find if you used a ruler to measure the exact dimensions of the filter.

What size are AC filters?

10X2014 X 2020X20
12X1214X2424 X 24
12X2014X2520X24
12X2414X3020X25
12X3015X2020X30

What is the most common AC filter size?

While there are no standard furnace filter sizes that will fit all models, the most common filter dimensions include: 10 X 20. 14 X 20. 16 X 24.

How often do you change AC filter?

You should replace these about every 90 days, if you have no allergies, but AC pros typically recommend every 45 days for max efficiency. Be sure to replace them with the right size and type of air filter. If your AC was working properly, you could remove the filter and buy one that is identical to it.

How often should you change your air filter?

Here are averages that may help you know how regularly you should get a new air filter at your residence: Vacation house or one occupant and no pets or allergies: every 6–12 months. Ordinary suburban home without pets: every 90 days. One dog or cat: every 60 days.

Do expensive AC filters make a difference?

Expensive air filters give you more surface area to filter particulate matter. … All dimensions being equal, a filter with a higher MERV rating and more pleats per inch will have the same or better air flow than the same filter with a lower MERV rating and fewer pleats.

Do air filters use a lot of electricity?

Overall, air purifiers do not use a lot of electricity. Running an air purifier for 12 hours in a day is the equivalent of running your dishwasher for about half an hour or running your refrigerator for 4 hours. An air purifiers electricity consumption is closer to the amount of energy consumed by a laptop computer.

Is furnace filter and AC filter the same?

While many people refer to air conditioning and furnace filters as if they’re different, this is not the case. Your furnace and your air conditioning system use the exact same filter, so there’s no need to worry about purchasing separate filters for each piece of equipment.

Where is my air filter located in my house?

The air filter is typically located at the point where the return duct enters the air handler. Larger houses often have more than one HVAC system. Each system will typically have at least one air filter. Therefore, your home may have air filters located at the air handler AND in the returns.

Where are the AC filters located?

The air filter is typically near the thermostat in your home in a return duct. Or, it’s most likely right next to your AC system’s air handler.

Do AC vents need filters?

We recommend using a MERV-5 to MERV-8 pleated air filter in your return vent. In this case, the return vent filter will be the primary air filter. So it will serve as the only line of defense against dust and particles entering your HVAC system.

What happens if you use the wrong size air filter?

When you use the wrong size air filter, or you install it incorrectly, the filter can’t effectively prevent dust from accumulating on the system’s motors and blowers. You’ll end up with a dirty furnace that can’t properly perform, and all of that debris could end up harming the system’s internal components.

Do air filters have to be exact size?

Since air filters are most often sold by their nominal dimensions, it is crucial to learn how to properly measure your air filter. When making your purchase, you should order your filter by its nominal size, rather than its actual size.

What size air filter do I need without a filter?

  1. Step 1 – Measuring Length and Width (L x W). (If your filter is not a square, the smallest measurement goes first).
  2. Step 2 – Measure the thickness (Depth) of your filter from front to back.
  3. Step 3 – Put Your measurements together (L x W x D).
How should an air filter fit?

The filters don’t need to fit with an “air tight” seal, but you should be able to easily install and uninstall your filter without a struggle, plus the filter shouldn’t be so small that it moves freely within your unit.

Are cabin and engine air filters the same size?

Replace It Yourself Filters may look almost identical, but can differ by a fraction of an inch in length. This may not seem to make a big difference, but it could cause your filter to malfunction and allow unfiltered air to enter the car engine. There are two common vehicle air filters.

What MERV rating do I need?

We do recommend that everyone uses filters that have at least an 8 MERV rating. These filters will remove the majority of pollutants from your indoor air. If you have serious medical conditions making it difficult to breathe, you might want to get a filter with MERV 9-12 rating.

What happens if you dont change AC filter?

If you don’t change your AC filter, it will begin to fail. It will no longer be able to filter the air properly, letting dust and contaminants get into the AC. Dust jams the moving parts of an AC such as fan motors and valves. … This is how dust makes the unit less energy efficient (at best) and can lead to breakdowns.

Why is my AC filter getting dirty so fast?

When your A/C is on the thermostat fan will constantly be running causing air too run over the air filter continuously and causing it to get dirty more quickly. … You may have a leak in your air ducts – Leaky air ducts can also cause your filter to clog up and especially if it is near your AC unit.

How do I know if my home air filter is dirty?

One clever way to determine if the air filter is dirty is to do the “white sheet test.” This involves hanging a clean white sheet approximately 5 inches away from one of the vents for at least one hour. If the sheet turns gray, you’ve got a filthy air filter. The grayer the sheet, the dirtier the filter.

How do I know if my air filter is bad?

  1. Reduced Fuel Economy. …
  2. Misfiring Engine. …
  3. Unusual Engine Sounds. …
  4. Check Engine Light Comes On. …
  5. Air Filter Appears Dirty. …
  6. Reduced Horsepower. …
  7. Black, Sooty Smoke or Flames Exiting the Exhaust. …
  8. Smell of Gasoline when Starting the Car.
Does changing AC filter help?

If you’ve noticed your home not cooling or heating as well, as usual, check the filter before calling an HVAC contractor. Changing your air filter regularly can help your system last longer and need less maintenance. Plus, it will save you money on your energy bill.

Is a MERV 8 filter good?

MERV 5–8 (good): These filters are better at catching small particles (3–10 microns) like mold spores, hair spray, dust mites and animal dander. MERV 9–12 (better): The best option for residential use.

Is it better to buy cheap air filters?

Cheap fiberglass filters are designed to stop dust, debris and hair from gunking up the system. While they do little to filter out allergens and other irritants, using them keeps your HVAC system clean and efficient. … They can add more resistance to airflow, which makes the system more expensive to operate.

Are good AC filters worth it?

More expensive filters like Pleated Residential filters filter out dust mites, pollen, mold and pet dander and even bacteria and so are worth the money especially for those with severe allergies. HEPA filters filter bacteria and viruses and are worth the extra money for those with respiratory conditions like emphysema.

Do pleated air filters restrict airflow?

Even though pleated fiberglass filters are very common and are continuously highly recommended, there’s still a misconception around the filters being able to cause damage to your unit because they supposedly restrict air flow. Yes, pleated air filters do indeed restrict the airflow to your HVAC system.

What uses the most electricity in a home?

  1. Air Conditioning & Heating. Your HVAC system uses the most energy of any single appliance or system at 46 percent of the average U.S. home’s energy consumption. …
  2. Water Heating. …
  3. Appliances. …
  4. Lighting. …
  5. Television and Media Equipment.
Why is my electric bill so high?

One of the main reasons your electric bill may be high is that you leave your appliances or electronics plugged in whether you’re using them or not. … The problem is, these devices are sitting idle, sucking electricity out of your home while waiting for a command from you, or waiting for a scheduled task to run.

Is it better to open windows or use an air purifier?

No one doubts that purifiers are most effective with the windows closed. That’s obvious. Real-world tests show that – even without an air purifier – simply keeping doors windows closed keeps particulate pollution levels at 50% the level of outdoor air.