Finding The Right Filter

air filter

If you want to play your part in keeping your furnace clean and running properly, there’s no better place to start than with your filter. Selecting the right filter is also essential to keeping your home clean and free of dust, pollen, and bacteria. If you follow this guide, you’ll have a filter that not only fits the conditions of your manufacturer’s manual, but will run efficiently and cost you less money in the long run.


Using a filter that is the correct size for your filter is important to ensure it will work at its maximum ability. Typical filter sizes are 16’’ x 20’’, 20’’ x 25’’, and 16’’ x 25’’. You’ll want to check the side door on your filter cabinet to see what size you should be using. Make sure you have an exact fit and that it is placed securely on the furnace so that air won’t leak out the sides.


The thickness of filters can range anywhere from 1’’ to 5’’. If you want your filter to last longer, go with the thicker filter. Thinner filters aren’t as efficient and can move around or leak air. However, the thickness of filter you choose will be determined by your system configuration.


The rating system for filter efficiency is called MERV (Minimum Efficiency Rating Value). This is the filter rating system set in place by The American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). The system was designed to give consumers an idea of how well a filter will remove airborne particles. The higher the MERV value, the better the filter will be at accumulating particles, thus making your home a safer place to live. Most households use filters with a MERV rating of 10, but if you or a loved one has asthma, allergies or other respiratory conditions, you’ll want to aim for a higher MERV rating.

MERV rating 1-4: controls pollen, dust mites, sanding dust, and textile and carpet fibers.   These typically come as disposable, electrostatic, and washable filter types.

MERV rating 5-8: controls mold spores, hair spray, cement dust, dusting aids, pudding mix. These come as pleated filters, cartridge filters, and disposable filters.

MERV rating 9-12: controls Legionella, humidifier dust, lead dust, milled flour, auto emissions, welding fumes. Comes as box filter or bag filter.

MERV rating 13-16: controls all bacteria, tobacco smoke, and proplet nuceli. These come as box filters and bag filters.

If you have any more questions about getting the right filter for your furnace, don’t hesitate to ask your HVAC specialist. Ensuring you have the proper filter is important to maintaining the safety and comfort of your home.

At Buckhorn Heating and Air, we are dedicated to providing the Loveland area with the air conditioning services they need. Whether you need heating or AC installation, maintenance, repair, or you just need help determining what type of filter you would like to use on your furnace, call us today, or visit our products page to learn more about what we offer!

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