When it comes to air filters, size matters. While most air filters are 1 inch thick, some systems can accommodate filters up to 5 inches thick. But why should you choose a thicker filter?The main benefit of a 5 inch filter is its ability to facilitate better airflow. In our tests, we found that the thicker the filter, the better it works and the longer the replacement intervals.
This means it's better for you and your heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. There is no difference between 1 and 5 inch filters with the same Merv rating, in terms of the size of the filtered particles. However, there is a difference in static pressure between the two. The 5 inch filter has more physical holes for air to pass through, making it easier to pass through.
Larger filters will make the system less restrictive and will wear down the fan motor less, which will extend the life of the equipment. Thicker filters also clean the air better than thinner filters. A coarser filter tends to work more efficiently and lasts longer. A 5-inch filter can last up to a year, whereas a 1-inch filter only lasts up to 3 months. Some air conditioning specialists have also observed that thicker filters provide a snug fit that does not allow unfiltered air to pass through. If you have a Lennox G60UH (X) natural gas forced air oven, you may be wondering if you should switch from a 1-inch filter to a 5-inch filter.
We tested thicker oven filters, some up to 5 inches, and they often provide superior air cleanliness and a long service life. Reusable filters are an option too, but they must have the same MERV rating as disposable filters and must be washed properly in order to clean them. However, there are ways to mess up the job, for example, buying an incorrectly sized filter or placing it upside down, which can block airflow rather than cleaning it. A 1-inch filter with less surface space will clog up fairly quickly and will need to be replaced much sooner than a coarser filter. At the end of the day, understanding a filter's ability to remove particles from the air is an important part of choosing one. Electrostatic filters last a little longer than disposable filters since you can use them more than once.
But no matter how often you run your system, a coarser filter will last longer than its thinner counterparts. In conclusion, if your HVAC system can accommodate a 5-inch filter, it's worth considering switching from a 1-inch filter. Not only will it facilitate better airflow and last longer, but it will also provide superior air cleanliness.