Does Air Filter Brand Matter? A Guide to Choosing the Right Filter

When it comes to choosing an air filter, it's important to understand that not all filters are created equal. While the short answer is no, not all air filters are the same, there are many different types of air filters available and selecting the right one can make a real difference in the lifespan of your HVAC system. The key factor to consider when selecting an efficient filter for your oven is something called a MERV rating. The purpose of the air filter is to trap contaminants in the air and the amount of contaminants it can trap is measured by its MERV rating. This rating can range from 1 to 16, depending on the quality of the oven filter.

All discounted filters, OEM oven filters and oven filters alike will have this rating. To ensure you find a high performance, high quality filter, it's best to look for a desirable MERV rating, rather than searching for a brand name. Different brands will offer different ranges of MERV ratings and filter sizes. Most importantly, not all filters are manufactured equal: the quality of the filter materials determines the life of the product and the consistency of its performance. Additionally, you want to buy from companies that maximize customer benefits through fast shipping and strong customer service. Some washable filters aren't much better, but high-end permanent filters can compete with the very common disposable pleated filters, which are available in a range, even reaching MERV 12 or higher.

Owen also noted that wildfire smoke is a complex mixture, incorporating both physical smoke particles (which filters permanently trap) and water vapor and volatile organic compounds (gases), which are not trapped and the latter create the smoky aroma. If you can't find Nordic Pure in your size, or if you prefer to buy and buy a new filter in a store right away, Honeywell's FPR 9 filters and Filtrete's MPR 1500 filters are similar and widely available in retail stores. We have the best options for portable air conditioners, if a window unit or central air doesn't work for you. But those are rare circumstances, and the decision to pay more for a better filter or not mostly comes down to whether cleaner air is a priority for you. This means it's better for you and your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. For more information on individual products that use filters, such as air purifiers, room air conditioners, and dehumidifiers, refer to their specific buying guides.

High-quality aftermarket filters manufactured by FilterBuy are also generally more affordable and last longer. These are installed on wall-mounted return air grilles (more common in the South) or on the air handler (more common in the Mid-Atlantic and North Atlantic states, where the air handler is often placed in the basement, near the oven). Air filters generally come in a range of standard sizes, with some that can be adapted to fit filter housings of different sizes or return air vents. Clogging increases the pressure difference between the inlet and outlet sides, and this can cause the filter pleats to flatten or the filter frame to bend. The best air filters trap indoor pollutants such as dust, pet dander and pollen, helping to cleanse your home's air. The air is charged with particles sent through the filter only once and results are measured. If your HVAC system uses a coarser filter (usually in the 4 to 5 inch range, and typically mounted on the air handler), it's likely designed specifically for medium efficiency MERV filtration.

Mary Swopshire
Mary Swopshire

Friendly beer aficionado. Tv nerd. Hipster-friendly writer. Friendly internet specialist. Professional beer maven. Extreme twitter guru.

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