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Filtrete 1500 Ultra Allergen Filter 20x20x1 vs Atomic MERV 13 Air Filter

February 20, 2016

Filtrete 1500 Ultra Allergen Filter 20x20x1 vs Atomic MERV 13 Air Filter

Choosing the Best 20x20x1 Air Filter for Allergies at the Best Value

Why are we comparing the Filtrete 1500 Ultra Allergen Filter 20x20x1 vs Atomic MERV 13 Air Filter? Because choosing the right air filter for your allergies can be confusing with so many buying choices. Since allergy suffers primarily have to fight a battle against an unseen enemy in the air, you need to have a reference to measure the ability of a filter to effectively filter the air in your home.

Find a Standard to Measure Competing Brands of Air Filters MERV vs MPR

The Filtrete 1500 by 3M is an excellent air filter but Filtrete uses its own rating system MPR(micro performance rating) this rating system is to compare one Filtrete filter against another Filtrete filter. This is not very useful if you are trying  to compare to other Brands of filters. The air filter industry standard rating for filter efficiency was developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers(ASHRAE) and is know as MERV(minimum efficiency reporting value) rating.

MERV the air filter industry standards for measuring filter effectiveness

Now that we have an effective measuring system we can begin to compare Brands. The Filtrete 1500 Ultra Allergen Filter is approximately equivalent to a MERV 12 rating. The Atomic MERV 13 is rated as you can guess at a MERV 13. This means the each time air passes through the filter the MERV 13 is going to both capture smaller particle and a greater percentage of particles. This is important for allergy suffers, because there are small allergens the can pass through a less efficient filter. 

Price Comparision Filtrete Ultra Allergen vs Atomic MERV 13

20x20x1 air filters comparison Filtrete 1500 vs Atomic MERV 13

At the time of this artricle, the Filtrete sells for $17.87 per filter if you but a 6 pack for $107.22 on Channels like Amazon. The Atomic MERV 13 20x20x1 air filter is $54.44 for a 6 pack, which is a cost of about $9.08 per filter. Atomic offers a more efficient filter for the price with a saving of $8.79 per filter. Both of these filters are going to provide excellent protection for allergy suffers. Now you have the information you need to make the best decision. 

Here are a few tips to help keep allergens to a minimum 

If you suffer from allergies keeping your home clean and healthier is essential . Because every breath can introduce and allergen, proper filters can proactively capture dust, bacteria, viruses and allergens from the air passing through your air. Create a cleaner, fresher and healthier home by capturing unwanted contaminates from the air your home.

  • Choose a Filtrete Filter with a higher MERV rating to remove more pollutants from the air in your home
  • Be consistent by having a weekly schedule for washing your bedding and vacuuming your carpets and furniture.
  • Replace your filter a minimum of every 3 months and sooner if you light candles,cook frequently, smoke, use your fireplace, run your fan continuously, own pets or are doing construction.
  • Leave your shoes at the door. Many of the allergens in our home are tracked in on our shoes and become trapped in the carpet and stirred up and irritate our allergies.

Air filters by Size


If you have any great suggestions for allergy suffers I would love you here them! Please leave a comment and share this with anyone you know who suffers from allergies.



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Nominal Vs. Actual Sizes: Finding the Right Air Filter Size

Buying the Correct Size Air Filter- The Most Important Thing to Know 

When you are buying your air filter online most important thing to know is Air Filters have two sizes that you need to understand the Nominal size and the Actual Size. Not understanding these numbers often leads to consumers purchasing a filter that does not fit their Furnace or HVAC system.

Nominal vs Actual air filter size by Atomic


Understanding Nominal Filters Size Could Save You Time and Money

Not understanding the Nominal Filter Size is the primary culprit for incorrectly purchased filters.The Nominal Size is the usually the dimensions used to Label the filter. For instance 16x20x1. These dimensions are a rounded value on the filters actual measurements. The actual measurements on this filter may be 15.5x19.5x.75, but that could vary by brand and manufacturer. So in order to make sure you have the correct size filter, especially if you are replacing with a different brand it is important to confirm the actual size on the filter. When purchasing filters on the internet the Nominal size is usually found in the product title.

Actual Filter Size- The Key to Making the Right Replacement Filter Purchase

The actual size as you might have guessed are the actual dimensions of the filter by length, width and thickness. This size is often on the filter right below the Nominal size and is usually labeled as the actual size. When you are buying a filter online the actual size is sometime in the product bullet point or the product description. If your filter does not have actual dimensions on the outside of the filter, you can measure you filter to get the correct dimensions. Some brands have a foam gasket on the outside of the filter, in this case, you will want to make sure you have a compatible actual size and that it also has the foam to ensure a snug fit. 

Lennox Air Filter X0851 with Foam strips

Examples of Nominal and Actual Sizes

 Size  Example 1  Example 2
Nominal Size 20x20x1 16x20x1
Actual Size 19.5x19.5x.75 15.75x19.75x.75


 Furnace filters should fit securely but should not have to be forced into position. If you have to force the filter into its slot, then it is probably too big. Forcing an improper filter size in a filter can cause it to buckle, damaging the filter or reducing its ability to function properly. Filters are a smaller than their slot to allow for easy replacement. Some HVAC units may need a filter with dimensions that are unique or uncommon. In these cases, a custom filter needs to be ordered.

Find Your Filter Sizes Easy in 1" Deep Filters , 2" Deep Filters, 4" Deep Filters