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How often should I change my Air Filter?

How Often should you change your air filter infographic

Generally every 2 – 3 months, but you may want to change them more often. During periods where you are using your HVAC system continuously, we recommend changing monthly to maintain the best indoor air quality. 

Recommended Filter Change Intervals:

Every Month

  • Multiple Furry Pets
  • Heavy Dust
  • Heat/AC Fan – Mostly On
  • Windows/Doors – Open Often

Every 2 Months

  • One Furry Pet
  • Moderate Dust
  • Heat/AC Fan – Moderately On
  • Windows/Doors – Sometimes Open

Every 3 Months

  • No Pets
  • Light Dust
  • Heat/AC Fan – Mostly Off
  • Windows/Doors – Usually Closed

“The most important maintenance task that will ensure the efficiency of your air conditioner is to routinely replace your air filters […] air conditioner furnace filters may need more frequent attention if the air conditioner is in constant use, is subjected to dusty conditions, or you have fur-bearing pets in the house.” – United States Department of Energy

What is a MERV Rating?

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. ASHRAE assigns a MERV number intended to help people compare air filters that are for use in heating and air conditioning systems. The MERV rates the efficiency of the air filter on the first day of use, regardless of whether it is used as an air conditioner filter or furnace filter or a HVAC system that combines both heating and air conditioning into one HVAC system. The MERV rating ranks air filter efficiency by assigning a number ranging from 1 to 16, with 1 being the lowest air filter efficiency and 16 the highest air filter efficiency when used in an HVAC system. MERV 16 is comparable to a HEPA filter.

What MERV is best for my building?

MERV 7 pleated air filters capture large airborne particles like:

  • Household Dust
  • Pollen
  • Mold Spores

They are comparable to HVAC filters with the rating of MPR 600 and FPR 5.

MERV 8 pleated air filters attract and trap large airborne particles such as:

  • Lint
  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Bacteria
  • Pet Dander
  • Dust Mites
  • Mold Spores
  • Other Contaminants

They are comparable to furnace filters with the rating of MPR 800 and FPR 6.

MERV 10 pleated air filters capture most airborne particulates such as:

  • Lint
  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Bacteria
  • Pet Dander
  • Dust Mites
  • Mold Spores
  • Other Contaminants

They are comparable to furnace filters with the rating of MPR 900-1000 and FPR 7.

MERV 11 pleated air filters capture most airborne particulates such as:

  • Lint
  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Bacteria
  • Pet Dander
  • Dust Mites
  • Mold Spores
  • Other Contaminants

They are comparable to furnace filters with the rating of MPR 1000 – 1200 and FPR 8.

MERV 12 pleated air filters capture over 90% of allergens and other airborne particles such as:

  • Lint
  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Bacteria
  • Pet Dander
  • Dust Mites
  • Mold Spores
  • Smoke Particles
  • Viruses

They are comparable to HVAC filters with the rating of MPR 1500-1900 and FPR 9.

MERV 13 pleated air filters capture most airborne particulates such as:

  • Lint
  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Bacteria
  • Pet Dander
  • Dust Mites
  • Mold Spores
  • Smoke Particles
  • Viruses
  • Coughs and Sneeze
  • Smog
  • Other Contaminants

They are comparable to HVAC filters with the rating of MPR 2200-2400 and FPR 10.

MERV 14 pleated air filters capture most airborne particulates such as:

  • Lint
  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Bacteria
  • Pet Dander
  • Dust Mites
  • Mold Spores
  • Smoke Particles
  • Viruses
  • Coughs and Sneeze
  • Smog
  • Other Contaminants

They are comparable to HVAC filters with the rating of MPR 2800 and FPR 10. These are usually considered hospital or industrial grade air filters.

MERV 15 pleated air filters capture most airborne particulates such as:

  • Lint
  • Dust
  • Pollen
  • Bacteria
  • Pet Dander
  • Dust Mites
  • Mold Spores
  • Smoke Particles
  • Viruses
  • Coughs and Sneeze
  • Smog
  • Other Contaminants

They are comparable to AC furnace filters with the rating of MPR 2800 and FPR 10. These are usually considered hospital or industrial grade air filters.

What is the Difference Between Nominal and Actual Size?

The Nominal size (nominal = name) of a filter is listed by its length, height and thickness. For example, a common filter size would be listed as 20x20x1. 20 inches wide by 20 inches high and 1 inch thick. Its “Actual Size” is very important! Our 20x20x1 is actually 19 ½” x 19 ½” x ¾”. You might want to measure your old filter, just to be certain of the filter’s actual dimensions.

Nordic Pure Air Filter Dimensions example photo
Nominal Size vs Actual Size Air Filter infographic
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