How to Choose an HVAC Filter

August 23, 2023


An HVAC filter plays a crucial role in the home’s heating and cooling system. It eliminates harmful particles and pollutants from indoor air before releasing it into the home and helps maintain indoor air quality, especially for individuals with allergies.

The HVAC filter typically needs to be replaced at the beginning of every season, or once every three months. But before heading out to a home improvement store in Kansas City to purchase a new filter, here are a few types of information homeowners need to have.

HVAC Filter size

To measure the size of the filter, locate the filter slot between the return air duct and the furnace assembly. In some systems, the filter may be located next to return air vents. Measure the length, width, and depth of the filter to ensure you purchase the right-sized HVAC filter.

Reusable vs Disposable

HVAC filters can be reusable, meaning they can be washed and used multiple times, or they can be single-use filters. Each type of filter has its own pros and cons.

MERV rating

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values and defines the filter’s ability to capture large particles based on its thickness. The higher the rating, the more efficient the filter is. MERV ratings range from 1 to 20. Residential and commercial HVAC systems typically have filters rated between 10 and 12.


Humid climates increase the risk of mold growth, which means homes should have an HVAC filter with a MERV rating of at least six. If the humidity is especially high, homeowners may need to replace filters more often or install a higher-rated filter.

Types of HVAC Filters

Homeowners can choose from a variety of HVAC filters but should understand the unique benefits and drawbacks of each before making a purchase. Questions? Contact us and we can help!


Disposable fiberglass HVAC filters have a MERV rating of three and are made of spun fiberglass.


Disposable pleated filters are made with cotton or polyester and have MERV ratings that go up to six.


Disposable electrostatic HVAC filters have a MERV rating of 10 and are made with self-charging electrostatic cotton or paper to effectively filter out cigarette smoke, pet dander, and allergens.

Reusable Polyester

This type of filter is thicker than fiberglass and can be flat or pleated.


High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) HVAC filters can remove up to 99.7% of harmful airborne particles.

Questions about HVAC services in the greater Kansas City area? Contact Hamilton Plumbing, Heating, A/C & Rooter today for all your plumbing, heating and air conditioning repair and replacement needs!

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Last Updated: August 24, 2023