Does Thickness of Furnace Filter Really Matter?

Thick air filters may seem like the best option at first glance. After all, thicker means more filtration, right? In most cases, that's true. Heavier filters tend to last longer because they have more square feet to capture and retain air particles. To put it into perspective, a 1-inch air filter may need to be changed every month, while a 4-inch filter could last up to six months.

Standard furnace filter sizes are 1 inch or 5 inch thick. However, the old adage “you get what you pay for” is true for filters, as it turns out that thickness plays a role in functionality and longevity. Most HVAC technicians recommend changing 1-inch air filters every 30 days, while 4-inch filters can be changed every 3 to 6 months. Some 4-inch filters can even last up to a year.

Different filter thicknesses also affect air flow. What do I mean by that? Well, the thicker the filter, the less restrictive it is. This contributes to a better flow of purified air. This means that 2-inch oven filters allow better airflow than 1-inch filters.

There are several measures you can take to extend the life of your furnace filter. Keeping a house clean and ventilated can reduce the amount of dust and pollen that will pass through the filter. This, in turn, increases the time it takes for the filter to clog, saving money and reducing the risk of damage due to inadequate airflow. Other signs that you may need to change the filter are more dust in the house or longer heating and cooling cycles.

This means that a 1-inch filter with a high MERV rating could work just as well as a 2-inch filter with the same rating. Dense filters can capture a wide variety of particles from the air, but the more they capture, the more they adhere to them. For air conditioning vents located on roofs, a slightly larger filter size can be used to prevent the filter from falling out when the vent is opened. But what does poor airflow mean? If the air flow in the heating system is poor, some of the rooms in your house will not heat up properly.

On the other hand, you can use a 1-inch thick filter in compartments that can accommodate a deeper filter. Now that you know the real answer to the question: “Does thickness of furnace filter matter?” , it is important to talk about standard sizes of oven filters in terms of nominal and actual size. Knowing environmental factors in your home and neighborhood that may affect your oven filter will help you determine how often you should change them. If improving air quality is a priority for you, filter depth doesn't matter as much as the MERV rating. Virtually any HVAC professional will tell you that thicker filters work better than common 1-inch oven filters. On the other hand, having more than one or two fingers of space around the filter indicates that it is too small.

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