One of the most important things you need to do for your HVAC system is make sure the filter is clean at all times. How often you need to clean or replace the filter depends on a lot of things, including how many people you have living in the house and whether you have pets. There is more to consider when it comes to the filter, including how to choose the right one. The information here will give you the information that you need in order to know you are using the right filter. If you have any questions about air filters beyond what's covered, you can turn to your HVAC service.
Choosing the right size filter
The very first thing you want to do is make sure you know the size of filter you need. You don't want to choose one without measuring, because there are so many sizes out there that you can easily be off by just an inch or two. Measure the length and the width and don't deviate from those sizes, or else the filter won't fit properly. If you use one that isn't the right size, air will be able to get through, which means the filter won't be doing its job. You'll know the filter fits because the edges will fit right next to the edges of the frame when put in place. If your air filter is in a location where you have a hard time reaching it to measure, the HVAC technician can help you determine the size you need.
Choosing the right type of filter
The MERV is the minimum efficiency reporting value, and it will go from a 1 to a 16. This rating tells you how much airflow is allowed to pass through compared with the percentage of particles filtered out. You want to achieve good air quality while still maintaining good airflow. Some MERVs that aren't commonly used won't be easily available in your local stores that offer household goods.
Choosing between disposable and reusable filters
You'll have the option to purchase disposable filters, or you can purchase ones you can spray clean with the hose and reuse. Going with the disposable filters is normally your best option. Not only are they more convenient to use, but they are also going to be the ones you know will continue properly filtering out the right percentage of particles each time you put a new filter in place.
If you feel the air filter you are using is restricting the airflow or you are concerned about the air quality, the best thing to do is have an HVAC tech come and check things out for you, then give you advice on how to proceed.