Which HVAC Air Filter is Best?

HVAC Air Filter

We’ve talked about the importance of changing your HVAC air filter in the past and how neglecting to inspect your filter could create serious problems for your heating and cooling system. While many people know that they should be inspecting their filter monthly and replacing it as needed, there’s often some confusion about the best type of HVAC air filter to be using.

Did You Know? There is only one HVAC filter for both your furnace and air conditioner. Both units use the same air handler and therefore the same filter. Your HVAC filter could be located in the return air duct or near the blower—usually found in front of the furnace.


There are a number of different options and brands for HVAC air filters, but there are three 3 main types:

Standard Fiberglass Filters

The most basic type of air filter is the standard fiberglass one. Woven fiberglass strands trap large airborne particles but aren’t able to capture most allergens or other pollutants from being distributed throughout your home. These HVAC air filters last about 30 days—depending on your lifestyle—and are often the least expensive option (per filter).

Pleated Filters

Made from synthetic fiber, a pleated filter can trap smaller particles including dust, pollen, dander and mould. These filters cost more than a standard air filter, but they also trap more pollutants and last twice as long—averaging 60 days before they need replacement.

Media Filters

For people that suffer from allergies, media filters are often the best option. These HVAC air filters are bigger than the other options, often measuring at least 5 inches, and usually last six months before they need to be replaced.

Because these filters are bigger and trap more particles, they aren’t compatible with all HVAC systems. Always refer to manufacturer’s user manual to ensure the HVAC filter you’re using is compatible with your system.

There are many options available and finding the best filter for your home will depend on your heating and cooling system and your specific needs.

Contact us today if you need help determining the best filter for your system—we’re always happy to help!

Team Harding is the most trusted heating and cooling provider to homeowners and new home construction builders for a reason— we’re fully committed to customer satisfaction, quality workmanship and fast, reliable service.

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