Are Home Air Filters Universal?

Furnace and HVAC manufacturers have different size slots for air filters, so they are not universal. This means that you need to find the right size filter for your oven, as others will be too small or large to effectively clean the air stream of harmful particles. Air filters keep incoming airflow clean and anyone breathing safe from irritants. When air is pumped into your home, it needs to be filtered, or else there could be problems with incoming particles. Universal air filters provide an air system with a protective layer that keeps harmful particles out and the flow of clean, fresh air through it.

The universal filters you use can fit a wide variety of types of HVAC systems, but they have their limits and will eventually need to be replaced. Manufacturers label filters with an estimate of their actual size, called the nominal size. This number is usually shown on the side of the filter. In the production process, not all filters will be the exact same size. If the manufacturer measured the actual size, the variation in numbers would confuse buyers.

This nominal size creates consistency across the board, adding peace of mind and less confusion for consumers. This also makes it easy to compare different filter models. Some HVAC contractors may not universally recommend HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters. This is because HEPA requires very small particle filtration, which means that the holes for air to pass through the filter are very small. Even with super wide accordion pleat to increase surface space, this could restrict airflow to your unit.

The pleats of these filters give them an advantage over the pleat-free options because they increase the filter surface area for better filtering. However, before completing this step, it is important to understand the difference between nominal and actual filter sizes. The downside to these filters is that they require your HVAC system to work a little harder to draw air through the unit, which can cause your HVAC system to lose efficiency sooner than expected. While certain types of air filters come with reusable and disposable options, washable filters are an eco-friendly way to save money. However, they usually add an additional surcharge to the filter to compensate for the services they provided. The amount of irritants trapped in the air builds up over time and will eventually cover the air filters completely. Note that the size shown in bold type on the filter frame is the nominal size of the filter, which is likely to differ from its actual size.

Filters with more pleats will provide better filtration than those with fewer folds, trapping even the toughest allergens and contaminants, such as pet dander and mold spores. Indoor air quality is a crucial element for any homeowner, especially if your household members have respiratory problems. Because pleated filters slightly improve the air quality in your home, they are a reasonably priced option for people who care about indoor air quality. HVAC service companies typically offer air filter replacement services, as well as system repair and unit installation services.

Janice Kampman
Janice Kampman

Subtly charming musicaholic. Zombie evangelist. Incurable travel lover. Devoted beer enthusiast. Passionate zombie specialist.

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