Is it OK to Use a Smaller Furnace Filter?

Find out if it's okay to use a smaller furnace filter and how to choose one that fits your needs.

Is it OK to Use a Smaller Furnace Filter?

Dust, allergens, and contaminants can easily enter your home if you don't have the right air filter. But is it okay to use a smaller furnace filter? The answer is yes, but only if you know what you're doing and if the filters you're using don't weaken too much from the cut. When it comes to air filters, size matters. If the filter is too small, it won't cover the entire space and may let dust and dirt through.

To make sure you get the right size filter for your furnace, check the manufacturer's specifications or ask your HVAC technician for help. The thickness of the air filter ranges from 1 to 5 inches deep; some options are more common than others and the oven can dictate the thickness that can be used. You'll need to do this if your boiler is missing the air filter and you don't know what size the air filter is supposed to be. Ovens come in various sizes and configurations, meaning there's no one-size-fits-all filter.

So, if it fits your oven, then a 4-inch air filter is better than a 1-inch air filter for improving air quality. Choosing the right type of filter for your oven along with the routine maintenance mentioned above will keep your costs low and your oven running smoothly. Typically, you'll see filters with a MERV lower than 4 in residential ovens, window-mounted air conditioning units, or as a pre-filter in commercial units that need multiple filters. An oven filter that is too small or too large for the oven will allow air to pass through the filter.

A clean, well-adjusted filter avoids a number of costly problems and will keep your oven running at its optimal capacity. Like length and width, thickness is an important part of sizing oven filters and obtaining the right fit to optimize performance. While filters with a higher MERV rating capture more particles from the air, a higher rating isn't necessarily the right choice for all ovens. One of the most important ways to take care of your oven or air conditioning system is to maintain a filter that works properly.

From ensuring the right fit to choosing the right thickness and density for your needs, using the right filter will make a significant difference in the cost and efficiency of your oven. The first (and easiest) way to find out the size of your oven filter is to check the size of your old air filter. Knowing the environmental factors in your home and neighborhood that may affect your oven filter will help you determine how often you should change them. But what if your oven's air filter compartment is only 3 inches thick? In that case, the 1-inch oven filter is the better choice compared to the 4-inch filter, however, a 3-inch thick air filter is the best choice. It's very important to make sure you have the right one when it comes to choosing an air filter. Although it sounds exhausting to dive into the world of air filters right after researching which oven or air conditioner to buy, it's worth it in order to keep your costs low and your appliance running smoothly.