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How to Find the Right Air Filter For Your Portland Home

Finding the right air filter for your HVAC system is an excellent way to ensure the air quality in your home is as healthy as possible. With so many choices out there, how do you know which air filter is right for your HVAC system? Learn more about the different types of air filters, such as disposable filters, reusable filters, pleated filters, and HEPA filters. Contact us today for any of your HVAC questions or needs.

First Steps to Choosing Your Air Filter

Step 1: It is important to measure the existing filter frame, so regardless of the type of air filter your system requires, you know you are buying the right size. The easiest way to determine the filter size you need is to look for information on the frame of your existing filter. You can also find this information on your A/C unit owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s specifications.

Step 2: When choosing your air filter, it helps to understand what the MERV rating system means. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The MERV rating essentially informs the installer of the porousness of the filter, the higher the MERV rating, the more dense the filter. The lowest MERV rating is 1 and the highest is 20.

Types of Air Filters

Since there are numerous types of air filters, knowing the differences can help you make an informed decision. Of course, you can always speak with one of our Portland HVAC specialists to learn more! Remember, the right air filter will improve the air quality in your home, so it’s best to check with a professional before you buy.

Disposable Vent Filters
Disposable Filters Replace Every 3 Months Call Out

Disposable vent filters use electrostatic register filtration, a process that uses the vent filters electrostatic material to act as a magnet to attract dust. The vent traps cigarette smoke, odors, dust, dirt and pollen, allowing fresh air to flow through. Disposable vent filters keep microscopic particles from getting through the filter, thus ensuring the air in your home remains fresh and clear of pollutants. It is ideal for a home where the inhabitants suffer from allergies or there are other odors present. A disposable vent filter lasts approximately three months before it needs to be replaced.

Reusable Filters

A reusable filter is permanently adjustable and very easy to use. This is also an electrostatic filter and requires little maintenance. Reusable filters cost more upfront, but they outlast disposable filters. A reusable filter is washable so they can maintain clean air in the home. You can clean these filters as often as you want!

Pleated filters

These filters use large pieces of fiberglass, polyester, or other synthetic materials that are folded into pleats. This increases surface area and removes more contaminants. They typically feature MERV ratings of five to 13 and can remove about 45 percent of airborne particles. High-efficiency versions can have ratings of up to 16 and will remove up to 85 percent of contaminants, but may be too large or restrictive for many systems. Pleated filters are relatively affordable, work in many systems, and provide significant air quality improvements over disposable or reusable filters.

HEPA filters

With MERV ratings from 17 to 20, high-efficiency particulate air filters can remove up to 99.7 percent of contaminants. However, they also require significant pressure to force air through, making them too restrictive for use in most HVAC systems that were not designed to accommodate them. HEPA filters are also more expensive than the other types of filters.

The Absorber Filter

The absorber filter is mainly used for odor control purposes. This air filter is great for homeowners who smoke indoors as it eliminates unpleasant smells.  Additionally, this air filter traps airborne particles making it great for homes with pets as it can filter out pet dander.


At AAA Heating & Cooling, we take the time to listen and understand your concerns regarding the comfort, health, and safety of your home. Let our Portland HVAC our experts help answer any additional questions you may have about choosing the right air filter for your home.