Does Filter Thickness Really Matter?

Most air filters are 1 inch thick, but some systems can accommodate filters 2 to 5 inches thick. In our tests, we found that the thicker the filter, the better it works and the longer the replacement intervals. This means it's better for you and your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Thick air filters may automatically seem like the best option.Thicker means more filtration, right? In most situations, that's the case.

Thicker air 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 air filter can last up to six months. Virtually any HVAC professional will tell you that thicker filters perform better than common 1-inch oven filters.Thicker filters, known as media filters, are generally 4 to 5 inches thick compared to ubiquitous 1 inch filters that you can even buy at grocery stores. A 4-inch thick filter will have more holes than a 1-inch filter.

Therefore, it will be easier for air to pass through and become less restrictive. The short answer? A 4-inch filter will last longer and provide better air quality for your home.But why is there such a big difference in their lives? This is because thicker air filters have more square feet. They have a larger surface area that they can use to contain air particles. You're probably thinking: “The best filter for my house is the one with the highest MERV rating”.

It's not always like that.If you get a filter with pleats that are too thick, the filter could get dirty quickly. Therefore, it makes your air conditioning unit work harder than it needs to. Knowing the environmental factors in your home and neighborhood that can affect your oven filter will help you determine how often to change filters. A good benchmark to follow when considering MERV ratings is that if they are more than 13, the pleats will most likely be too thick for your filter.But does that mean 1-inch filters aren't good? Let's dive into the details and find the right combination for your oven.

Pay attention to what matters most to you and you'll discover which filter is right for you. Having to bend and force the filter into the oven is a clear indicator that the filter is too large. In addition to filter sizes, thickness plays a key role in determining the proper size of an oven filter and achieving a proper fit for optimal performance.Remember, having the best filter for your unit will give you the best air quality for you and your loved ones. These media filters have much stiffer cardboard frames, and some media filters even have plastic “rails” on the top and bottom so you can slide them inside the oven with a very tight seal.

And while media filters produce more airflow (less pressure drop) and clog less easily, you should be careful with the MERV rating. The main function of the oven filter is to keep the fan safe from dust, dirt and other contaminants entering the return duct through the filter.As a general guideline, filters up to one inch deep are recommended to be changed every one to three months, while thicker filters four to five inches deep can last up to a year. This means that a 1-inch filter with a high MERV rating could perform just as well as a 2-inch filter with the same rating.Thicker oven filters, known as media filters, almost always perform better than cheaper one-inch filters.

Janice Kampman
Janice Kampman

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

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