Free Shipping / Questions? Call us: 910-401-3910

Air Filter Knowledge Base "What you need to Know"

Why You Should 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.

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.

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

Share this Image On Your Site




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. 

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.

 

 

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 are 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 the 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 size and that it also has the foam to insure a snag 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.

;