How do I figure out which filter to go with?

It’s time for my filter to be replaced…I’m not quite sure how to decide which to buy. Any tips?


I am not sure what is the best filter to use either. Need some help on this.


Hey Tommy! I’ve just been through this as well. It seems like the higher the “merv” rating, the better? Though I’ve read online that sometimes it helps to talk to your HVAC pro to see if your air handler can handle the filter rating. Last time I had my air handler serviced, they put in a 1" merv13 filter which has been great. Saw a visible decrease in particles. The app says I need to replace my filter in 2 weeks so I’ll probably buy one with the same rating.


I live in a condo, and they sell filters to the tenants. I don’t think they’re good quality though, since I could vacuum it and it looked clean! So I did some research and it looks like they’re making money out of thin air. From what I found MERV-8 filter is kind of the minimum rating you should go for. But what is also important is that you should install it properly - if there are gaps - the air will just go around it. It seems obvious, but I never thought about it before.


Just building on this - the higher the MERV rating, the smaller the particles will be caught. Talking to your HVAC pro is a good call because not all systems can handle filters with high MERV ratings. It can make your system work way harder than it needs to, resulting in a lot of unnecessary energy consumption. It can also make it so that you need to replace filters way more frequently than need be. I learned this the hard way…


I’ve heard this about MERV 8 as well, that it’s the safest bet when it comes to system compatibility.


I normally just leave the work to my HVAC pros and trust him with the filter and when to replace it. I probably need to research more on this. The comments in here is really helpful though. Thank you folks.

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My hubby buys the filter and installs it himself. He thinks it’s not the best one but it’s not the worst one either.

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I’m not sure what you mean by compatibility, I thought they’re standard size?

Oh dang, big repair?

Yeah, I think once you figure out what your system can handle, it’s easy to go to the store and just buy something with the same rating. Probably cheaper to do it this way if you don’t need any other HVAC maintenance at the time of replacement.

We…don’t have a dedicated HVAC person :sweat_smile: How did you find yours?

i dont know if my system can handle something like what your describing above. how do you figure this out without getting an hvac technician to come out?