Last Updated on July 9, 2022 by Mark P.
If you’re like most homeowners, you probably don’t think too much about your air vent filters.
However, if you’re looking to improve your home’s air quality, it’s important to choose the right air filters for your needs.
Here are five things to consider when shopping for an air vent filter:
1. Size of Your Air Vents
There are a variety of air vent sizes available on the market, but not all air vents are created equal. Depending on the age of your home, where your vent is located, the standard air vent size will vary and the size of your air vent will determine the size of the filter you need to purchase.
Common return air vent sizes are:
- 8″ x 22″
- 12″ x 6″
- 12″ x 12″
- 14″ x 22″
- 16″ x 16″
- 16″ x 20″
- 20″ x 10″
- 20″ x 20″
- 20″ x 30″
- 22″ x 22″
- 24″ x 6″
- 24″ x 12″
- 30″ x 6″
- 30″ x 18″
Common supply vent sizes are:
- 4″ x 10″
- 4″ x 14″
- 4″ x 12″
- 6″ x 10″
- 8″ x 6″
- 12″ x 2″
- 14″ x 2″
air filter sizes are 4×4, 5×5, and 6×6. Purchasing the wrong size air filter can lead to a number of problems, including reduced air flow and poor filtration. Make sure to measure your air vent before purchasing an air filter to ensure you get the best possible fit.
2. Type of Air Vent Filters
There are several types of air vent filters that you can use for your home but the 3 most common types are pleated, activated carbon and HEPA. The most common type is the pleated air filter. This filter is made of pleated paper or fabric and is designed to trap a wider range of larger particles of dirt, dust, and pollen. Another type of air filter is the activated carbon air filter. This filter uses activated carbon to adsorb odors and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) from the air. Finally, there is the HEPA air filter. This type of air filter is designed to remove 99.97% of airborne particles that are 0.3 microns or larger in size. HEPA filters are often used in hospital operating rooms and other clean environments.
Pleated Air Vent Filter
Pleated air filters are a type of filter that is commonly used in HVAC systems. The pleats help to increase the surface area of the filter, which allows it to trap more particles. Additionally, pleated air filters are less likely to clog than non-pleated filters, making them more efficient.
Activated Carbon Air Filters
Activated carbon air filters are a type of air filter that uses activated carbon to remove contaminants from the air. The activated carbon is produced by heat-treating charcoal, and it is extremely porous, which gives it a large surface area. This large surface area allows the activated carbon to adsorb (or attract and trap) a wide range of contaminants, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), smoke, and odors.
Activated carbon filters are often used in commercial and industrial settings, but they can also be used in homes and other buildings. When used in conjunction with other types of air filters, activated carbon filters can provide an effective way to remove a wide range of pollutants from indoor air.
HEPA Air Filters
HEPA air filters are a type of mechanical air filter that is designed to remove 99.97% of all particles that are larger than 0.3 microns from the air that passes through it. HEPA stands for “High Efficiency Particulate Air.” HEPA air filters are used in a variety of settings, including hospitals, homes, and office buildings. They are also used in some vacuum cleaners and car cabin air filters.
HEPA air filters work by forcing air through a very dense filter material. The filter material is made of long, thin fibers that are randomly arranged. The spaces between the fibers are much smaller than the particles that the filter is designed to remove. As a result, when air passes through the filter, the particles are trapped in the fibers and prevented from passing through. HEPA air filters can last for many years, but they eventually need to be replaced because the fibers can become clogged with particles over time.
3. MERV Rating
MERV ratings are used to measure the efficiency of an air filter. MERV is an acronym for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The MERV rating scale goes from 1 to 16, with 16 being the highest level of efficiency. HEPA filtration mentioned above is the level higher than 16. MERV ratings are assigned based on the ability of a filter to remove particles of different sizes from the air that passes through it. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the particles that can be filtered out.
MERV 8 filters, for example, are designed to remove bacteria, mold spores, and dust mites from the air, while MERV 11 filters are designed to remove smoke and viruses. MERV 16 filters are designed to remove extremely small particles, such as those found in smoke and vehicle exhaust. When choosing an air filter, it is important to select one with a MERV rating that is appropriate for the job you need it to do. For example, if you want to remove allergens from your home, you will need a filter with a high MERV rating.
4. Price & Quantity Needed
The cost of air vent filters can vary widely depending on the type of filter, the quantity of filters ordered and the size of the vent.
Most vent filters will typically cost between $10-$30 per filter though some higher MERV filters can be more costly. Additionally, because vent filters are often changed every 3-6 months, many sellers sell packs of 2, 4, 6 or even 8 filters at a time. Purchasing multiple filters may be a good idea because you can save money when ordering in bulk and you will have backup filters ready for when it’s time to replace your filter again.
5. Ease of Replacement
Replacing an air vent filter is pretty easy, especially if you have the right tools and instructions.
The first thing you need to do is locate the supply or return air vent. Depending on your home, the vent opening might be located on the ceiling, wall or on the floor. Once you’ve found the air vent, you need to remove the current filter. To do this, you may need a screwdriver or wrench to remove the screws that hold the vent cover in place.
Once the screws and vent cover are removed, you can simply pull out the old filter. Next, take your new air vent filter and insert it where the old filter was removed from. Make sure that it’s snug and secure before replacing the screws.
Finally, turn on your air conditioner or furnace to make sure that the air is flowing through the new filter. If everything looks good, then you’re all done!
Replacing an air vent filter is a pretty easy process, but it’s always a good idea to consult your owner’s manual or a professional HVAC technician for assistance.
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to shop for air vent filters. Be sure to keep the size of your vents in mind, as well as the type of filter and MERV rating. Also, don’t forget to factor in price and ease of replacement when making your decision. We hope this helps you choose the right air vent filters for your home.