How To Find Off-Size Furnace Filters

If you have an older home or a home that has been retrofitted, there is a good chance that the furnace filters inside your home are off-size. If you want to have a clean place to live with breathable air, you are going to need to change your furnace filter from time to time.

It can be challenging to find the perfect filter; however, you should be able to find it if you know where to look. There are several different avenues you can take to find it.

Go to the Store

Both hardware stores and home improvement retail stores offer a selection of furnace filters. When you consider that there are hundreds of filters on the market, it is very unlikely that you will be able to find an irregularly sized one at the store. You can always look in several different stores, but that can be very time-consuming.

You can ask the store if they can order the filter for you. If you do it this way, you will have to wait until the item arrives and will have to make an extra trip to the store. You will also have to rely on them to call you. These stores can get very busy so they may forget to call you. If this happens, you will be right back to square one. 

The Internet

If you wanted to buy a furnace filter on the internet, you would have to go to classified advertising sites such as Craigslist. You would search the for-sale section and hope that someone had the filter you wanted. On the rare occasion that you found such a filter, you would have to go to the person’s home or business to pick it up.

People who post ads on websites can be unreliable, to say the least. It can also be dangerous to make appointments with people that you meet on these sites. 

Fortunately, the days when you had to rely on classified advertising sites for filters are over. There are now companies that sell filters online. 

Online Filter Stores

You can find a store online that sells nothing but filters, and many of them carry filters that are in unusual sizes. For example, Filter King has 18x24x1 filters. 

When you go to the website, you will simply input the dimensions of the air filter you want into the search engine. Air filters are measured in length, height, and width. 

You should pull up all of the different filters that the company has to offer. You can also search by brand name or by the quality of the filter.

A website that sells filters will generally list the quality of the filters as standard, good, better, and best. The EPA rating system for filters is a bit more sophisticated.

MERV Ratings

The effectiveness of a furnace filter is measured by the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value or MERV rating. The quality of an air filter is determined by its ability to remove particles from the air. The higher a filter’s MERV rating, the better it will be at filtering harmful pollutants from the air in your home. 

There are many particles in the average home, and they include:

:: Pollen

:: Dust Mites

:: Mold Spores

:: Tobacco Smoke

:: Textile Fibers

:: Pet Dander

:: Bacteria  

:: Legionella

Dust particles can also be dangerous in a home because they can cause people with allergies to become sick. A person can be allergic to just one kind of dust or many. The kinds of dust that can exist in a home include:

:: Lead Dust

:: Coal Dust

:: Nebulizer Dust

:: Humidifier Dust

Most people have a filter in their home that has a MERV rating of somewhere between 8 and 13. Filters that are rated between 6 and 8 will be able to remove particles from the air that are 3.0 microns in size. Filters rated between 10 and 16 can remove particles as small as 1.0 micron. 

A filter with a MERV rating of 13 is considered to be the highest that is appropriate for a person’s home. A home furnace system may not be able to use any filter rated higher than 13. If there is too thick a filter in a furnace, it will make the furnace work harder, which will increase your electricity bills and waste energy.

If you are unable to locate a filter that will fit your furnace, you can always get one that is larger than you need and simply pare it down. The measurements should be located on the filter frame.

If they are not, you can always find them with a tape measure. Simply cut the frame to the right size and stick it in. If your system requires an oddly shaped filter, you can make a template of the shape.

Put the template on the filter media and trace around it. Once you have traced it completely, you can cut out your new filter.

Clean air is important to your health, so make sure you have the right filter for your home. 

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