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How to Buy the Correct Air Filter

Figuring out what kind of air filter you need can be a daunting task because there are a few aspects that you need to pay attention to if you want to get the right one. Here are the most important aspects you should use as a guide.


Nowadays, there are many different types of air filters to choose from; however, the most common ones are pleated, fiberglass, and washable filters. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages so you can better choose which one is right for your HVAC system.

Pleated filters are named after the material they are made of that is in charge of filtering the air that passes through it. These filters are highly effective in filtering air mostly because of the synthetic polymers that have the least impact on airflow. If you're having any problems with an AC unit or HVAC system Dallas residents can count on Air Pros who provide quality service and repairs at competitive prices!

Fiberglass air filters are among the cheapest air filters on the market. They are often seen as the best option because of their price and the fact that they don’t accumulate dirt. However, the reason that this doesn’t happen is that they let the dust, though, making them not the best choice.

Washable air filters are, as the name suggests, made to be washed and reused. The obvious advantage is that they can be used for a long time without needing to buy a new filter every month. A slight disadvantage is that they need to be completely dry before it can be put to use because it can get moldy and spread spores.


If you were wondering how to begin the search for your new, perfect air filter, look no more. As the experts from suggest, the size of the filter that your HVAC system needs will be the determining factor during your purchase. There is simply no way around this, you will need the kind of filter that can fit into the system, and no exceptions can be made. The dimensions of the right filter size are typically printed on the filter that you already have in use. Beware that this is the nominal size, meaning it is rounded from the filters’ actual size. 

However, if you don’t currently own an air filter that you can use as a reference, just grab a measuring tape and well, measure the size of your HVAC vent. The measure you get will represent the exact size to which you will need to add a quarter of an inch to both width and length to get the nominal size. 


One of the most important aspects to review before buying an air filter is its quality. There are a couple of scales used for rating air filters, but the scale which is used the most and recommended by the National Air Filtration Association is the MERV scale. MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value, and the scale has a value from 1 do 16. The higher the value on the MERV scale, the better the filter is at stopping harmful particulates from entering your home. Generally speaking, air filters between the values eight and thirteen are suitable for home use. Any filters with a MERV value lower than this should not be used, and any filters with a higher value can be used but are deemed unnecessary for household use, but in some extreme cases. 

Another air filter scale is the Filter Performance Rating (FPR), which is specific because it has a color code for each range. The third scale is MPR, which stands for Microparticle Performance Rating, and it reflects the filter’s ability to stop particles that are smaller than 1 micrometer in diameter.

Extra Steps

Some of the additional aspects you should consider when buying an air filter are the habitational aspects of your life. These include medical aspects such as allergies, the area you live in, and whether or not you own pets. If you suffer from severe allergies, you should use a filter with a MERV rating of at least 13 or a MERV 11 filter if they are minor.

If you own a pet, for the dander to be filtered out, a basic filter simply won’t do. Instead, opt for a MERV 13, the same one used for severe allergies. The same MERV rating is advised if the area you live in is polluted because it needs to prevent the harmful particles from polluting your indoor air.

Be sure to have these aspects in mind before buying a new air filter so you don’t end up compromising your health or spending more money than you need to.