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Choose the Right Air Filter for Your AC System: Quick Guide

Air filters play an essential part in maintaining the effectiveness of your AC system by filtering out pollutants like dust, pollen, and other impurities from circulating through your home’s air supply. Unfortunately, not all filters are created equal, and choosing one suitable to your system can be difficult. Let’s discuss some key considerations for choosing the right air filter for your AC system.

Filter Size

When selecting an air filter for your AC system, the first consideration should be choosing one with compatible dimensions and type for your unit. Filters of appropriate sizes must fit within their designated filter slots within your AC system. Otherwise, using too large or too small filters could reduce airflow through your system and decrease efficiency. If you need help determining which size filter best meets this criterion, consult your AC system manual or contact a professional technician.

Filter Type

Once you know which filter type to use, the next step should be selecting it from various fiberglass, pleated electrostatic, and HEPA air filters available today. Fiberglass filters are relatively affordable, with low minimum efficiency reporting values (MERV). This indicates they only capture a small percentage of airborne particles. Pleated filters are more effective than fiberglass ones and offer a higher MERV rating, making them the perfect solution for households with pets or allergies.

Electrostatic filters use static electricity to capture particles in the air and can be washed and reused repeatedly. HEPA filters are the ultimate air filtration systems, capable of filtering up to 99.97% of particles from the air. As they’re so efficient at trapping particles from entering our homes and breathing spaces, HEPA filters are an excellent option for homes with asthma or respiratory conditions; however, they may be costly or incompatible with all AC systems.

Right Air Filter for Your AC System:

MERV Rating

A MERV rating measures the efficiency of an air filter by measuring how many particles it can collect from the air. A higher MERV rating indicates greater effectiveness at filtering out small particles, so when selecting an AC system filter, it’s important to choose one with an appropriate MERV rating for your needs; for pets or allergies, a rating from 8-11 should suffice, while households experiencing respiratory issues might prefer one between 11-16 as an ideal match; it should be remembered however that higher ratings could reduce airflow, thus diminishing its efficiency significantly and should therefore be avoided as these might negatively affect performance as much as their efficiency can decrease as its potential impact will.

Filter Material

The materials used to construct filters can enormously affect their efficiency and lifespan. Fiberglass filters are typically the least costly option, with lifespans of up to one month; pleated filters made of denser material last three months; washable electrostatic filters last up to ten years, while HEPA filters made from thick pleated material have a lifecycle of six months – while selecting filters it is important to consider both their replacement costs as well as lifespan for optimal cost-efficiency.

Filter Maintenance

Proper air filter maintenance is vital to its continued adequate function and efficiency. Depending on the type and usage of your AC system, replacing your air filter every one to three months is recommended to maintain optimal functioning and avoid increased energy bills from dirty filters that reduce airflow, strain your system, and cause higher energy costs. Regular replacement can improve indoor air quality as well as extend its lifespan, thus saving money in energy costs as a result of reduced utility bills.

Compatibility with AC System

An important element is whether the air filter works optimally with your AC system. Be sure to consult either a manual or seek assistance from an HVAC specialist from Lincoln Heating and Cooling when searching for the ideal filter size and type for your air conditioner.


Air filters vary in price depending on their type and MERV rating, with HEPA filters typically being the most cost-effective yet more costly option; fiberglass filters are more affordable. When choosing an air filter that meets your indoor air quality needs, remember your budget when selecting.

Right Air Filter for Your AC System:

Get A Professional Opinion

It’s a good idea to consult the manufacturer’s recommendations or contact Lincoln Heating and Cooling to ascertain when the time has come for replacement. Their technicians have the knowledge and expertise to know which filter would benefit your home the best. They can review all available options and find one that works within your budget. Contact them today to schedule your appointment.

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