Is a 5-inch Air Filter Worth It?

When it comes to air conditioning, a 5-inch filter is often the best choice for superior filtration. This type of filter offers a range of benefits, including better air quality, ample airflow, longer lifespan, cost-effectiveness, and greater energy savings. A 5-inch filter is usually more effective than a thinner one because it provides a perfect fit that doesn't allow unfiltered air to pass through. Additionally, it is less restrictive and allows for better flow of purified air.

Washable air filters are an option, but they come with several drawbacks. These include a lower MERV rating, frequent maintenance requirements, and the potential for mold growth in the air unit. Fortunately, recent innovations in air filters allow for high MERV ratings (11 to 1) with a low pressure drop. A good air filter keeps the central air conditioner (and oven) working by protecting mechanical components from dust and dirt.

It also increases the surface area of the filter, which provides more space to trap airborne particles. An independent test on the effects of MERV filters 8 to 13 on air flow and HVAC energy consumption concluded that even with higher pressure drop filters, the air flow and energy penalties are not likely to be serious until the filter is full of dirt. If you're looking for an effective filter that won't break the bank, Nordic Pure MERV 12 is a great option. Other good choices include Honeywell FPR 9 filters and Filtrete MPR 1500 filters, both of which are widely available in retail stores.