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Can The Wrong Size Air Filter Harm My HVAC System

Can The Wrong Size Air Filter Harm My HVAC System

Can The Wrong Size Air Filter Harm My HVAC System

Check the size of your current air filter before making a replacement purchase. If you purchase a filter that is too large, it will not fit properly in the slot. If the filter is too small, it won’t cover the entire area, allowing dust and dirt to pass through. 

If you are unsure of the filter size you require, consult the manufacturer’s specifications or ask your HVAC technician for assistance. Using the incorrect size air filter is unlikely to immediately damage your HVAC system.

It does have an effect, however. Using the incorrect size decreases the heating and cooling system’s efficiency. This may become more noticeable on your next utility bill. The greatest risk associated with an improperly sized air filter is that it may not effectively prevent dust from accumulating on the motors and blowers of your HVAC system.

Filter Types to Keep in Mind

It is essential to remember that air filters vary in dimensions, thickness, and composition. Most filters are constructed from fiberglass, pleated paper, polyester fibers, or electrostatic pleats. Some are disposable and intended for single use, whereas others can be washed and reused. No matter which type is best for your HVAC system, you should frequently replace or clean the air filter to maintain healthy indoor air quality.

The HVAC filters in your home’s heating and cooling system perform an essential function. They remove allergens such as dust, pollen, and pet dander from the air that you and your family breathe. The filter captures these particles to prevent their recirculation throughout the residence. 

Filters also play a crucial role in protecting your system from bigger particles that could cause damage. Therefore, you should always use the correct type of filter and replace it when it becomes dirty.

Understanding MERV Ratings 

There are many different MERV ratings for air filters. A filter with a higher MERV rating has a finer mesh and can remove smaller airborne particles. However, you shouldn’t use a filter with a higher rating than your unit’s specifications. If the mesh is too fine, your HVAC system will not be able to pull enough air through it. This can cause severe damage to your HVAC system.

Using an air filter with a higher MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating is a common mistake. A greater MERV indicates that the filter can capture smaller particles, such as viruses and bacteria. However, not all HVAC systems are designed to function with such fine-mesh filters. If the filter is incompatible with your system, airflow will be restricted.

Does AC Filter Size Matter?

Yes, AC filter size does matter. It is critical to use the correct size air filter for your HVAC unit to keep your system running smoothly and reap the full benefits of your air filter. Many people rarely discuss air filtration, and questions frequently go unasked and unanswered. If you’re looking for 20x20x1 air filters for sale, never settle for another size.

Nominal vs. Actual Sizes

When purchasing an air filter, it is essential to remember that the standard in the air filtering industry is to create filters slightly smaller than their slot or frame, so they can slide into position without being crushed or bent.

Nominal size: The advertised size is the nominal size of an air filter. The word “nominal” is derived from the root “name” and is the rounded-up form of the real, measured size.

Actual size: The actual size of an air filter is frequently printed on the filter’s frame and is normally 0.25 to 0.5 inches smaller than the nominal size stated. The actual size is what you would find if you used a ruler to measure the filter’s precise dimensions. Depending on the brand, actual sizes may vary slightly. But in most situations, any conventional size will operate in a regular residential unit.

True-to-size: Less popular sizes frequently fit true-to-size, which means the nominal size matches the real size. When the nominal size and actual size of a filter are the same, “actual size” is stated in parenthesis to show that the filter is true-to-size.

Three Ways to Find Your Ideal Air Filter Size

Refer to the Label On the Filter’s Frame

The simplest way to determine the size of your AC filter is to remove the current filter from its slot and study its frame. Typically, the filter size is imprinted along the frame’s edge. Note that the size indicated in bold on the frame of the filter is its nominal size, which is likely different from its real size. If the precise dimensions are not specified in fine print on the filter’s frame, we recommend measuring the filter to confirm.

Measure Your Air Filter

You can always measure your air filter using a ruler or any other measuring equipment if you have any doubts.

Measure Your Air Intake

To guarantee that the next filter you buy is the proper size for your system, you should measure the internal dimensions of your air filter intake.

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