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Thread: HVAC Filters

  1. #1

    Default HVAC Filters

    We have 5 filters (various sizes) to change in a 2400 sq ft house---can you please tell me the best bang for the buck with filter replacements? I have read ideas ranging from go with the cheapest (very low MERV) and change monthly --to buy expensive permanent filters and wash monthly.What is the best solution for both long term cost effectiveness and wear & tear on the HVAC?

    Thank you

  2. #2
    In the Trades MaintenanceMan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008


    Unless you have allergies, a good disposable pleated filter is all you need. Do not waste your time and money on "washable" or "electrostatic" filters. They are very dense and do not let enough air through. They have been the culprit to many frozen up A/Cs as well as bad limit switches and even heat exchangers. I have seen a lot of trouble out of electrostatic air filters. IMO they should be outlawed.

    A good pleated air filter is usually sufficient for most houses. Unless you have allergies then you can check into electronic filters or some other options like Aprilaire or Air Bear. Don't over think a filter. Just buy a package of them at the store and keep a few on hand. That way they are right there when you need to change one. Just make sure you keep a clean filter in the furnace. Do NOT go buy any timeline printed on the label either. If it says "three month filter" ignore it. Total marketing BS. Check your filter at least monthly and change it when it's dirty.

    At our local Lowes they carry the Endust brand three pack pleated filters for something like 6 or 7 bucks. Thats personally what I use at my house. 3M Filtrete are also good and can be found just about anywhere.
    Last edited by MaintenanceMan; 01-16-2009 at 05:52 AM.

  3. #3
    DIY Member littlebrook's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Rochester, NY


    If you go with the pleated filters, make sure your furnace will work properly with these. I made the mistake of replacing the cheap fiberglass filter that were in my house when I bought it with the basic pleated filters without knowing that they severely restricted airflow and caused my furnace to cycle constantly. Did not realise this until our second winter when the furnace kept turning itself off due to overheating. Since I switched back to the dollar filters, my house has been the warmest its ever been and the furnace works as it should.


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