USA Flag


Buying Air Filters: Common Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

November 30, 2022

There may be nothing more basic than the quality of the air that we breathe. Maybe that is why there is so much demand for air purification tools around the country. Every year, the United States alone has enough demand for air purification equipment to generate upward of $7 billion in revenue!

Of course, one reason that this market may generate so much demand is that people make mistakes when buying air filters. Then, they have to go back and buy more air filters. Even if you find the right air filter, the wrong mistake may keep it from doing its job the way it is supposed to.

Considering that making a mistake with your air filter means breathing lower-quality air, it is important to avoid these unfortunately common mistakes. So what common mistakes do people make when buying air filters and how can you avoid them?

Read on to learn all about the most important things to pay attention to as you go through the air filter purchasing process.

Measure Your Air Filter Size

As simple as it may sound, many people end up buying an air filter that is the wrong size. However, when you know more about air filters, you will see why it is easier to make this mistake than you might think.

Air filters come in an incredible variety of shapes and sizes. They have complicated names that make it difficult to tell them apart. On top of that, many air filters differ in size only by a tiny amount.

Air filters have a nominal size, the whole number or 20 x 20 x 1. Air filters also have an actual size, usually a fraction or decimal that may vary. For example, a 20 x 20 x 1 filter may actually be 19 1/2 x 19 1/2 x 1.

Most people who end up with an air filter that is the wrong size have the frustrating experience of seeing that the air filter is within a single inch of fitting. However, even tiny mistakes regarding the size of your air filter will make it impossible to install.

Before you buy an air filter, make sure to measure the exact dimensions of your old air filter. Just to be safe, you might also want to measure the dimensions of the space where your air filter goes.

You can also try to find the exact product number for your old air filter. If you want the same air filter, you can look for the exact same product. If you want to try out a new air filter, you can still use the product number of your old air filter to help you figure out what size of air filter you should buy next. Your air filter may also have the actual dimensions printed on the cardboard. This size reference is always helpful.

Be Careful When Installing Air Filters

Installing air filters is a relatively simple process. However, it is also essential to execute it without making any mistakes. Small problems with installation can allow air to pass through your HVAC system without also passing through your air filter.

One reason that small mistakes make such a big difference when it comes to air filters is that air filters make it more difficult for air to pass through. Because they force air through layers of filtration, it is much easier for air to find any other path around the filter if possible.

When you install your air filter, make sure to pay attention to air flow and making sure the filter is properly fit. It may also be a good idea to check up on your installation later, to make sure that nothing has gone wrong.

Keep in mind that if you do not install the air filter correctly, it can also make it much more difficult for your HVAC system to run efficiently. That can lead to higher energy bills as well as more wear and tear on your system.

Buy the Right Types of Air Filters

There are many different kinds of air filters. If you choose the wrong kind then you may never find out. As long as your air filter fits into place, it will be difficult for you to realize that you have the wrong type.

For that reason, make sure that you know exactly what you want from your air filter and confirm that your purchased filter fits the bill. This is usually identified by the quality rating -- in other words, what your air filter can actually filter from the air.

Consider Efficiency When Replacing Air Filters

One common difference between types of air filters is their efficiency. When it comes to air filters, efficiency measures how much contamination they remove from the air. The higher the MERV rating of your air filter, the more particles it will capture.

The cleaner you want your air to be, the higher the rating you should look for on your air filter. You may also want to choose an air filter with high efficiency if you experience a lot of dust in your area or home.

We recommend an air filter that is rated MERV 8 to MERV 13 for home use.

Compare Air Filter Costs

You will probably buy air filters over and over again over the course of your life. That means finding even small ways to save money on your air filter purchase can build up over time. At some point, consider researching a variety of options for where you can buy your air filters. You may also want to consider an air filter subscription as air filters need to be changed routinely.

You may also be able to ask professional HVAC contractors if they know where to find great air filters at an affordable price. As professionals, they will have spent a lot of time making sure that they buy the best air filters from the best place. You can also look at reviews for HVAC contractors if you decide to hire them to help you with your air filter installation or general maintenance.

Avoid the Most Common Mistakes When Buying Air Filters

There are a lot of common mistakes that people make when buying air filters. However, brushing up on these errors can be enough to help you avoid these problems and make the most out of your own air filtration system. On the other hand, hiring the experts may be necessary to make sure that your HVAC system and air quality are where you want them.

To learn more about buying air filters or where you can find experts to help you maintain your HVAC system, reach out and get in touch with us here at any time!

« Back to News

Newsletter Signup

Please check the captcha bellow, and click the checkmark to sign up