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6 Common Air Filter Myths

March 5, 2015
6 Common Air Filter Myths

We get it: Air filters aren’t exactly a normal dinner conversation. That means that you probably heard a few things about them growing up, and that is what you have accepted as the truth. But a lot of the information about air filters that is going around just simply isn’t accurate. Here are the most common air filter myths and the truths behind them.

Myth 1: You don’t really need to change the air filter every three months. That’s just a marketing thing.

That couldn’t be farther from the truth. For the average home, three months is the time it takes for enough particles to be collected that the airflow through the filter becomes greatly restricted. This means that if you let it sit much longer, your air is not as clean as it could be and your HVAC system has to work on overdrive.

Myth 2: Air filters are only meant to keep dust to a minimum.

That may have been the original reason they were created, but air filters have come a long way since then. Now, they filter out everything from dust and debris to pet dander to bacteria and viruses.

Myth 3: All air filters are created equal.

There are actually several different ratings for air filters. The higher it is on the MERV scale (Maximum Efficiency Reporting Value), the more particles it will filter out. However, MERV ratings above 14 are usually only used in hospitals and similar environments because they make the average home’s HVAC system work too hard to pump air through their miniscule openings.

Myth 4: It doesn’t matter what your home circumstances are, as long as you change your filter every three months then you are fine.

The three-month recommendation is the longest a family should go between switching out the filters. If you have pets (especially long-haired dogs), or someone in your household smokes, or if a family member has allergies, then you need to change your filters more often—sometimes even every month.

Myth 5: The air filter can be installed facing any direction, as long as it fits.

In actuality, air filters need to be placed in the vent the correct way, otherwise it won’t work. Pay attention to the arrows on the filter to make sure your air filter is doing its job.

Myth 6: All air filter vents are the same size.

If you have lived in more than one home, then you probably know this is false. That’s why we have so many sizes available. The lengths, widths, and even depths vary greatly from builder to builder, so it is crucial you measure your vents before placing an order. If your filter is not snug, impure air will seep through the exposed edges—and you clearly don’t want that.


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