What Air Filter Should I Buy? A Comprehensive Guide

Are you wondering what air filter to buy for your home? Learn about filter sizes, types and MERV ratings in this comprehensive guide.

What Air Filter Should I Buy? A Comprehensive Guide

Are you wondering what air filter to buy for your home? It's important to know the size and type of filter that fits your air return, as well as the MERV rating that best suits your needs. In this article, we'll provide a comprehensive guide to help you make the right choice. First, you'll need to find the filter size that fits your air return. This size is usually printed on the side of the air cleaner you already have in use.

Keep in mind that this size is the nominal size, which means it's rounded off from its actual size. To start, turn off the oven and remove the existing oven filter, which will be inside the oven or inside the return air vent. Look for an arrow on the filter that indicates the direction of the air flow. Use a permanent marker to draw this direction on the outside of the oven, so you always know how to install it correctly.

Next, consider the size of the oven filter, which will be printed on the cardboard frame. Measure the length and width (L x W). If it's not square, use the smallest measurement first. If you're unsure, measure your air filter with a ruler or any other measuring device.

To ensure that you purchase the correct size for your system, measure the inside dimensions of the air cleaner inlet. If your oven has an air filter in the return vent, changing it is easy and can be done from inside your home. If you have pets, heavy carpets, or a construction area nearby, your air quality will be poor. In this case, pleated filters are best for moderate to high MERV values and capture smaller particles and allergens.

When you take measurements of an air filter, round off to the nearest inch to find out what size filter you need to buy. This is important because it separates you and your sensitive central forced air equipment from destructive particles in your home air. When changing oven filters, first determine what size oven filter you have. If the return grille is in the ceiling, use a slightly larger actual size so that it doesn't fall on you when you open it.

Most major retailers such as Walmart, Target, and Home Depot offer air cleaners with different options and brands to choose from. Home Depot mainly sells Honeywell brand filters while ACE Hardware mainly carries Filtrete. These filters are only recommended for those most vulnerable to disease as they capture virtually all particles including attached viruses measuring 0.3 microns or larger.

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