Does the Size of an Air Filter Really Make a Difference?

Replacing your standard one-inch air filter with a 5-inch pleated filter can result in improved air quality inside your home. This is because larger air filters have higher MERV ratings, allowing for better filtration of contaminants and allergens. The ideal 5-inch air filters come with a MERV rating of 13, which is capable of trapping more particles than thinner filters. A thicker filter tends to work more efficiently and last longer.

A 5-inch filter can last up to a year, while a 1-inch filter only lasts up to 3 months. This is why HVAC professionals recommend thicker filters, known as multimedia filters, which are usually 4 to 5 inches thick compared to the ubiquitous 1-inch filters that can be purchased even at grocery stores. A good air filter should be thick enough to prevent debris from slipping through the cracks. If it is necessary to install these thicker filters in a return grille, it is important to ensure that the return duct is sealed and airtight. These 4-inch multimedia filters can have an area of 20 to 30 feet due to their pleated filter material (accordion).

For comparison, a 4-inch thick filter will have about twice the surface area of a 2-inch thick filter. Other indoor air pollutants that can be trapped in the filter and removed from the air include pollen, dust, mold, pet dander, and bacteria. In addition to these benefits, you may also realize that a 5-inch air filter versus a 1-inch filter makes all the difference in the lifespan of your air conditioning system. If your filter has a MERV rating that is too high, it can be inefficient because the oven has a harder time getting air through such a dense filter. I would prefer a reusable filter, but I'm not sure where to find one with the same MERV rating and I'm also not entirely sure that washing it can properly clean the filter. Now that you know the real answer to the question “Does the size of the oven filter matter?” , it is important to talk about the standard sizes of oven filters in terms of nominal and actual size.

If you put several 1-inch filters together, it's like putting 5 coffee filters together and trying to make a cup of coffee, it just doesn't work. These multimedia filters have much stiffer cardboard frames, and some multimedia filters even have plastic “rails” on the top and bottom so you can slide them inside the oven with a very tight seal. And while filter filters produce more air flow (less pressure drop) and clog less easily, care must be taken with the MERV rating. So does size really matter when it comes to air filters? Absolutely! The larger size of an air filter allows for better filtration of contaminants and allergens, as well as improved airflow and longer lifespan. It is important to note that if you are installing thicker filters in a return grille, you must ensure that the return duct is sealed and airtight.

Additionally, make sure that you choose an appropriate MERV rating for your oven so that it does not become inefficient due to too much pressure drop.