Nationwide Home Solutions

What Are the Different Types of HVAC Filters?


Filters are a vital part of heating and cooling systems. They are air cleaners that keep the air in your home clean and free from pollutants, which can be harmful to your health. Filters should be changed at least once a year, but you may want to change it more often depending on how much dust and debris there is in the air where you live. Different types of filters are available for different types of HVAC systems, so it’s important to know what kind you need before buying one.

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Air filters keep the air in your home clean.

Air filters keep the air in your home clean and improve indoor air quality. They remove dust, smoke and other pollutants from the air before it circulates throughout your home. Filters are a critical component of HVAC systems because they ensure that you breathe clean, fresh air at all times.

You should change your filter regularly to ensure that it does its job properly and continues to purify your indoor environment. It’s important for HVAC technicians to know what type of filter is needed for each type of system so they can make sure customers receive proper maintenance support when needed.

Filters remove dust, smoke and other pollutants from the air.

Filters are critical to the health of your family. They remove dust, smoke and other pollutants from the air you breathe as well as pollen, mold spores and pet dander. If you have pets in your home or smoke cigarettes regularly, this is especially important for you because these things can make it hard for you to breath normally if they’re not filtered out of the air.

Filters should be changed regularly—at least once every three months—to ensure that they’re working properly and keeping the air clean for your family. When changing filters is required on a regular basis (for example: every three months), it’s best to pair this task with another one that requires routine maintenance such as changing clocks for daylight savings time or checking battery backups on smoke detectors.

The type of filter you need depends on your HVAC system.

The type of filter you need for your HVAC system depends on the type of air ducts in your home. The size, shape and placement of these ducts will determine how and where you install your filters. This may sound confusing, but it isn’t hard to understand once you know what types of filters are available.

There are 3 basic types:

  • Paper-based – Often called dry or media filters, these ones can be used by all but one-stage systems (shaded). They’re made from natural fibers like cellulose or synthetic fibers like polyester; both work well at removing large sediments such as pet dander that gets trapped inside the filter. However, they won’t trap smaller particles like pollen because they don’t have enough surface area to do so effectively.
  • Electrostatic – These use static electricity to attract dust particles while allowing clean air through them without clogging up with dirt or debris build-up over time as normal air flow pushes through them regularly every day (unlike fabric filters which get dirty easily if not changed often enough). These aren’t recommended for use in homes where pets live unless they’re kept away from electronics equipment around them (or else it’ll become damaged quickly!).
  • High efficiency particulate air / HEPA filters – Provides excellent protection against mold spores since these types have very fine pores which trap even tiny particles due to their microscopic size compared against regular paper-based materials used for most commercial purposes today; however there isn’t much research available yet about how effective this product would work against bacteria itself because bacteria cells tend not survive long enough when exposed directly into environments outside their bodies due primarily due exposure times typically being under ten minutes maximum length before death occurs naturally anyway.


Filters come in different sizes and MERV ratings.

The size and MERV rating of your filter is determined by the size of your HVAC system. A standard furnace has a 5-inch filter, while an air conditioner might have a 3-inch or 4-inch filter.

One important note: Filters aren’t all created equal. Your system may require one type of filter over another based on its design, so make sure you know what size and MERV rating to buy before making your purchase.

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How Often Should I Change the Filter?

The frequency of filter changes depends on the type of filter you’re using. Some air filters can last up to two years, while others need to be changed monthly. How often you should change your HVAC filter depends on the quality of air in your home and how frequently it is used by your family members, pets and guests.

Most experts recommend that homeowners replace their HVAC filters at least once a month for maximum efficiency and comfort.

AC air filter being inspected

The wrong filter can cause problems for your HVAC system

The wrong filter can cause problems for your HVAC system. You need to use the right type of filter for your system, and it should be changed regularly. The filter should be the right size and MERV rating, but it also needs to fit tightly into its slots in order to work properly.

The wrong type of filter may allow particles into your home or office, which can affect allergies or cause damage to furniture or electronics (especially if you have pets).


You should change your filter once a month, or at least once a season. If your HVAC system is older than five years old, you may need to replace the filter more often. The best way to tell whether or not it’s time for a new filter is by looking at how dirty it gets over time. If you see dust or pollen collecting on top of the filter, then it’s definitely time for replacement!

So what is the answer then? There isn’t a one size fits all answer to this question. The best filter for your home will depend on several factors ranging from the types of animals in your house to the outside air quality in your area. Contact us today and let one of our HVAC experts help you decide which filter is the best for your needs and budget!

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