Air Filter Knowledge Base "What you need to Know" [FAQ] - Atomic Filters
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Air Filter Knowledge Base "What you need to Know" [FAQ]

Why Should You Change Your Air Filters Regularly?

  • Dirty air filters are top cause for HVAC system failure. A dirty filter prevents the proper air flow into your HVAC systems air handler. Restricted air flow creates a strain on the air handler fan motor and could, over time, burn out the motor and cause your system to overheat and ultimately fail. Filter replacement is best option to extend to life of one of the biggest financial investments in your home.
  •  Clean air filter makes your fan motor run smoother and consume less energy. One of the easiest and quickest ways to reduce your energy bill is to replace your air filter.
  •  Clean air filters improve the air quality in your home. Poor home air quality can aggravate allergies and asthma, particularly children’s allergies. Change your filter for your family’s health.
  •  Dirty air filters makes your heating and air-conditioning systems and your ducts get dirty more quickl.. This can lead to costly maintenance expenses or to a need to replace your units sooner than you expected.
  •  Clean air filters decreases your energy bills. You can see an immediate, short-term cost saving s when you replace your air filter.
  •  Clean air filter decreases your carbon footprint. Changing your filter reduces the amount of energy your home consumes making it convenient and inexpensive way to be environmentally responsible.

How Often Should You Change a 1 Inch Furnace Filter

A 1 inch flat ac filter or furnace filter may need to be changed every 30 days, but a 1 inch pleated furnace filter may need to be changed every 2 to 3 months. Depending on your environment furnace filter may need to be changed more frequently. High dust environments like the desert usually require more frequent ac filter changes. It is best to check your filter regularly and keep spare filters on hand incase you need to change a filter. 

Finding the Right Filter Sizes for AC and Furnace Filter

In addition to carrying major brands of furnace filters like Lennox, Carrier, Trion Air Bear and Skuttle we also offer custom size filters at Atomic. Select the size to see a collection of filter for that size or select your Brand and see the entire collection of Whole-house furnace filters available. Filter are usually listed by the Nominal Size which is a rounded number, based off of the true dimensions of the filter which are called the "actual size". 

How Do I Find the Size of My AC Filter?

You can usually Find the Size of Your Air Conditioner filter right on the side of the frame of the ac air filter. The Picture of this 12x12x1 inch air filter has the Nominal size which is the size by which air filters are generally sold. On the right of the filter it also includes the actual ac filter size which are the true measures dimensions of the filter by lenght width and depth. See air filter image:

Complete List of Furnace Air Conditioner Filters by Size

If there is no size on your current AC filter, you can measure the length width depth of the filter and the filter to find the Actual Size of your filter with the Corresponding Furnace Filter size in the Furnace Filter Size(Nominal Size) Chart.

Find Your AC Air Filter and Furnace Filter by Brand

Click the link for the brand to see the entire collection. Use the search to find your item by Model, Title or Size.

 

 Whole House Filters by Brand Model Size
Lennox  See all
Honeywell See all
Aprilaire See all
Carrier / Bryant See all
Toptech See all
Totaline See all
Trion Air Bear See all
Skuttle See all

How Do I Find My Filter Sizes for AC and Furnace Filter by Size?

Furnace Filter Size (Nominal) Actual Size Good Better Best
10x10x1 9.5 x 9.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
10x20x1 9.5 x 19.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
10x24x1 9.5 x 23.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
10x30x1 9.5 x 29.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
12x12x1 11.75 x 11.75 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
12x16x1 11.5 x 15.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
12x18x1 11.5 x 17.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
12x20x1 11.5 x 19.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
12x24x1 11.375 x 23.375 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
12x25x1 11.5 x 24.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
12x30x1 11.625 x 29.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
12x36x1 11.5 x 35.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
14x14x1 13.5 x 13.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
14x15.5x.75 14 x 15.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
14x18x1 13.5 x 17.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
14x20x1 13.5 x 19.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
14x24x1 13.375 x 23.375 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
14x25x1 13.5 x 24.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
14x30x1 13.5 x 29.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
15x20x1 14.5 x 19.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
15x25x1 14.5 x 24.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
16x16x1 15.75 x 15.75 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
16x18x1 15.5 x 17.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
16x20x1 15.5 x 19.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
16x24x1 15.375 x 23.375 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
16x25x1 15.5 x 24.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
16x30x1 15.5 x 29.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
16x32x1 15.5 x 31.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
17x22x1 16.5 x 19.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
18x18x1 17.5 x 17.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
18x20x1 17.5 x 19.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
18x22x1 17.5 x 21.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
18x24x1 17.375 x 23.375 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
18x25x1 17.5 x 24.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
18x30x1 17.5 x 29.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
20x20x1 19.5 x 19.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
20x21.5x.75 20 x 21.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
20x21x1 19.5 x 20.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
20x22x1 19.5 x 21.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
20x24x1 19.375 x 23.375 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
20x25x1 19.5 x 24.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
20x30x1 19.5 x 29.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
21.5x23.25x.75 21.5 x 23.25 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
22x22x1 21.5 x 21.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
24x24x1 23.375  x  23.375  x  .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
24x30x1 23.5 x 29.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
25x25x1 24.5 x 24.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
30x30x1 29.5 x 29.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
30x36x1 29.5 x 35.5 x .75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
2 Inch Deep Filters
10x20x2 9.5 x 9.5 x 1.75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
12x12x2 11.5 x 11.5 x 1.75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
12x20x2 11.5 x 19.5 x 1.75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
12x24x2 11.375 x 23.375 x 1.75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
12x25x2 11.5 x 24.5 x 1.75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
14x20x2 13.375 x 19.375 x 1.75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
14x25x2 13.375 x 24.375 x 1.75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
15x20x2 14.5 x 19.5 x 1.75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
16x16x2 15.5 x 15.5 x 1.75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
16x20x2 15.5 x 19.5 x 1.75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
16x24x2 15.375 x 23.375 x 1.75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
16x25x2 15.5 x 24.5 x 1.75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
18x18x2 17.5 x 17.5 x 1.75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
18x20x2 17.5 x 19.5 x 1.75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
18x24x2 17.375 x 23.375 x 1.75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
18x25x2 17.5 x 24.5 x 1.75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
20x20x2 19.5 x 19.5 x 1.75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
20x24x2 19.375 x 23.375 x 1.75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
20x25x2 19.5 x 24.5 x 1.75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
20x30x2 19.5 x 29.5 x 1.75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
24x24x2 23.375 x 23.375 x 1.75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
24x30x2 23.5 x 29.5 x 1.75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
25x25x2 24.5 x 24.5 x 1.75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
25x28x2 24.5 x 27.5 x 1.75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
30x36x2 29.5 x 35.5 x 1.75 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
4 Inch Deep Filters
12x24x4 11.375 x 23.375 x 3.625 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
16x20x4 15.375 x 19.375 x 3.625 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
16x25x4 15.375 x 24.375 x 3.625 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
18x24x4 17.375 x 23.375 x 3.625 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
20x20x4 19.375 x 19.375 x 3.625 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
20x24x4 19.375 x 23.375 x 3.625 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
20x25x4 19.375 x 24.375 x 3.625 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
24x24x4 23.375 x 23.375 x 3.625 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13
25x29x4 24.375 x 28.375 x 3.625 MERV 8 MERV 11 MERV 13

What Type of Filters Should I Choose? An Explanation of MERV

You should choose an air filter that offers the highest level of efficiency that is compatible with your  HVAC system. Minimum efficiency reporting value, known as the MERV rating, is a measurement scale designed in 1987 by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) to rate the effectiveness of air filters.

What is a MERV Filter?

MERV is a not a brand or type of filter but scale for ranking air filters based on their particle removal efficiencies. MERV stands for the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value.  The MERV scale ranges from 1 to 20.

Is MERV 8 a Good Filter?

According to the EPA, most home HVAC systems use a low MERV (1-4) fiberglass furnace filter that has a nominal size of 1” thick. Upgrading this AC filter to a medium efficiency filter (MERV 5-8) can have a significant effect on improving the air quality in your home. MERV 8 being at the top of this scale would be a good choice for improving the air quality in your home. For allergy suffers a higher MERV filter would be a better alternative.

What is a Good Allergy Filter?

When it comes to smaller particles that can irritate allergy suffers, higher efficiency filters (MERV 9-12) will work even better at improving air quality. What does MERV 11 mean. MERV 11 is a superior residendial air filter which will filter a very high percentage of particles as small as 3.0 to 1.0 μm each time the air passes through the filter. This includes particles such as Legionella, Humidifier dust, Lead dust, Milled flour, Auto emission particulates, and Nebulizer droplets.

Is A Higher MERV Rating Better?

A true high efficiency filter (MERV 13-16) can reduce indoor particles by as much as 95 percent. Filters with a High Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) rating, (or MERV 17-20) are the most efficient. You may need to consult with a local heating and air technician or the manufacturer of your central air system to confirm which (or if ) high efficiency filters will work with your system. If you can’t switch to a more efficient filter, running the system continuously by switching the thermostat fan from “Auto” to “On” has been shown to reduce particle concentrations by as much as 24 percent.

MERV Min. particle size Typical controlled contaminant [2] Typical Application [2]
1–4 > 10.0 μm Pollen, dust mites, cockroach debris, sanding dust, spray paint dust, textile fibers, carpet fibers Residential window AC units
5–8[3] 10.0–3.0 μm Mold, spores, dust mite debris, cat and dog dander, hair spray, fabric protector, dusting aids, pudding mix Better residential, general commercial, industrial workspaces
9–12 3.0–1.0 μm Legionella, Humidifier dust, Lead dust, Milled flour, Auto emission particulates, Nebulizer droplets Superior residential, better commercial, hospital laboratories
13–16 1.0–0.3 μm Bacteria, droplet nuclei (sneeze), cooking oil, most smoke and insecticide dust, most face powder, most paint pigments,Virus, smoke hospital & general surgery
17–20[4] < 0.3 μm  carbon dust, Sea Salt Electronics & pharmaceutical manufacturing cleanroom

 

(1 micron is about 0.04 thousandths of an inch)

Filter efficiency measures of how well the filter does its job of filtering air before it enters the air handler. An air filter “cleans” the air by serving as a physical barrier to particles hanging in the air. Manufacturers use a number of materials in air filters, such as fiberglass. The composition of these materials can impact the filter’s efficiency. Pleated air filter provides greater surface area to trap particles than a flat panel filter and will trap more particles even if made out of an identical material. Wider filters, such as, 2” instead of 1” will also trap more particles.

How to Choose a MERV rating for an air filter to protect the air in your Family home

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The higher the MERV rating number the higher the effeciency, choosing the most efficient filter available is generally not always the correct choice. This is due to the fact that as filter efficiency increases, there is a corresponding increase in the level of air flow resistance. A highly efficient filter may restrict air flow to a level that will damage your HVAC system by placing additional strain on the fan motor. Most older HVAC systems should use a filter having a MERV rating no higher than 11. Some Older systems should only use a filter with a MERV rating of only 8 or lower. Some older systems are required to use a flat panel fiberglass filter that offers minimal air resistance but which unfortunately provides little if any air cleaning at all. These filters carry no MERV rating at all. At the other end of the spectrum, a filter rating higher than 11 is best when required only for extreme allergy environments.

Furnace Filters Air Flow Direction

The Air flow arrow on the side of your filter indicates the correct air flow direction of the air entering your furnace equipment. The correct direction of the arrow is facing away from the return duct that carries the air in need of heating or cooling and toward the HVAC equipment.

Air enters the front of the filter and exists the back of the filter which faces the furnace or HVAC. Air filters were initially designed to protect your expensive HVAC equipment. Even through there are now filters also meant to protect air quality the filter is located before to equipment to protect your system.  Air filters usually have support on the back side of the filter which is the direction of the air flow from the front of the filter to the back.Many filters will have metal wire on the back of the filter.

What Happen if the Filter is Backwards?

The furnace filter was designed for the air to flow in one direction which is why many filters have metal wire on the back of the filter to prevent the filter from collapsing. A filter installed backwards will restrict air flow in your air handler causing the system to work harder to make up for the decreased airflow. 

What happens if you put an air filter in the wrong direction is your furnace is forced to blow air through the non-porous end of a filter. More energy will be required to move air through the system. The blower will be overworked increasing the energy cost  for your heating and cooling. This could also have long term effects on the life of your HVAC system.

Good, Better and Best Quality Air Filters Which is Right for You?

Good

Atomic's standard(Good) Filter starts at a Prime Level of home air filter or furnace filter which is a MERV 8 filter, that provides excellent efficiency at an extraordinary value. This filter is constructed of 100% high performance mechanical synthetic media and is laminated to recyclable, galvanized and corrosive resistant expanded metal. These filters are pleated in a radial configuration for optimal airflow and particle removal. The MERV 8 rating indicates this filter will remove on average over 75-80% of the particles between 3.0 and 10.0 microns. This includes pollen, pet dander,carpet and lint, dust, mold, spores, hair spray, fabric protector, dusting aids, and cement dust. Atomic offers our filter in 1” and 2” and 4" thicknesses to fit just about any home application. 

Better

Atomic's Premium(Better) Filter Optimum Level of home air filter or furnace filter which is a MERV 11 filter, that provides Tremendous efficiency at an extraordinary value. This filter is constructed of a proprietary tribo-electric high performance synthetic media and is laminated to recyclable, galvanized and corrosive resistant expanded metal. These filters are pleated in a radial configuration for optimal airflow and particle removal. The MERV 11 rating indicates this filter will remove on average over 85% or better of the particles between 3.0 and 10.0 microns and 65-79% of Particles from 1.0 to 3.0 microns. This includes pollen, pet dander,carpet and lint, dust, mold, spores, hair spray, fabric protector, dusting aids, and cement dust, humidifier dust, lead dust, auto emissions, and milled flour. Atomic offers our filter in 1” and 2” and 4" thicknesses to fit just about any home application. 

 Best

Atomic's Ultra Premium(Best) Filter Superior Level of home air filter or furnace filter which is a MERV 13 filter, that provides Tremendous efficiency at an extraordinary value. This filter is constructed of proprietary tribo-electric high performance synthetic media and is laminated to recyclable, galvanized and corrosive resistant expanded metal. These filters are pleated in a radial configuration for optimal airflow and particle removal. The MERV 13 rating indicates this filter will remove on average over 90% or better of the particles between 3.0 and 10.0 microns and 85% of Particles from 1.0 to 3.0 microns and up to 75% of Particles from .3 to 1.0 microns . This includes pollen, pet dander,carpet and lint, dust, mold, spores, hair spray, fabric protector, dusting aids, and cement dust, humidifier dust, lead dust, auto emissions, milled flour, bacteria,most tobacco smoke and proplet nuclie . Atomic offers our filter in 1” and 2” and 4" thicknesses to fit just about any home application. These filters are premium and often found in Hospital inpatient and general surgery; and in superior commercial buildings.

 

 

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