2 Inch Air Filters: Are They Better Than 1 Inch?

When it comes to air filters, the thicker the filter, the less restrictive it is. This means that a 2-inch oven filter allows better airflow than a 1-inch filter. However, these two are not drastically different in thickness. In our tests, we found that the thicker the filter, the better it works and the longer the replacement intervals. The table below lists the standard size 1 inch, 2 inch, and 4 inch deep air conditioner filters for your air conditioner, oven, HVAC and Atomic Filters filters.

Atomic Filters' whole-house air filter collections are also listed. When it comes to a 1-inch vs. 2-inch oven filter, you can use a 2-inch filter if your vent is deep enough and a 2-inch filter will generally last longer since it has more media. The 4-inch thick air filter has a definite advantage over the 1 inch in terms of longevity, airflow and maximum filtration potential.

The Lennox filter below shows part number X0583 and Honeywell part numbers, FC100A1029 and FC35A1001, which this filter can replace. Washable filters, as the name suggests, simply need to be rinsed with a garden hose once a month, air dried, and put back in place. To put it into perspective, a 1-inch air filter may need to be changed every month, while a 4-inch air filter can last up to six months. These media filters have much stiffer cardboard frames, and some media filters even have plastic “rails” on the top and bottom so you can slide them inside the oven with a very tight seal. Replaceable filters restrict airflow more and require you to purchase new filters regularly, but they tend to trap more particles in the air.

For comparison, a 4-inch thick filter will have approximately twice as many surface areas as a 2-inch thick filter. Alternatively, you can use a 1-inch thick filter in compartments that can accommodate a deeper filter. When you want to improve air quality through better air filtration, but don't want the expense of modifying your equipment, a 1-inch MERV 13 filter does the job. If you try to use a 4-inch thick air filter for a system that is made for a 1-inch thick filter, the efficiency will be worse. If you are considering a thicker air filter to improve air quality, it may be better to focus on the MERV rating. Our static pressure budget is 0.25 WC.

With the 2-inch pleated filter, although it is smaller, we have a static pressure of 0.158 WC. As you can see, the 2-inch filter will serve our needs MUCH better than the 1-inch filter. Even if the duct system is in good condition, using this filter will prevent the system from having problems. Virtually any HVAC professional will tell you that thicker filters perform better than common 1-inch oven filters. Thicker filters, known as media filters, are generally 4 to 5 inches thick compared to ubiquitous 1 inch filters that you can even buy at grocery stores.

Most air filters are 1 inch thick, but some systems can accommodate filters 2 to 5 inches thick. In conclusion, when it comes to choosing between 1 inch and 2 inch air filters for your home or business HVAC system, it's important to consider both thickness and MERV rating for optimal performance. A thicker filter will provide better airflow and longer replacement intervals than its thinner counterpart.

LaDonna Uccio
LaDonna Uccio

Devoted food advocate. General internetaholic. Extreme beer aficionado. Devoted social media maven. Lifelong tvaholic.

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