What is a Perfect Fit Air Filter? All You Need to Know

perfect fit air filter

Our homes are filled with dust, debris, and many air pollutants that we rarely see. These indoor pollutants can cause minor and major health issues such as irritation of the eyes and nose, dizziness, respiratory illnesses, and aggravating allergies and asthma. 

The HVAC system helps improve our indoor air quality with the help of perfect fit air filters to keep harmful particles out of the air that passes through it. As a result, the air you breathe in improves and reduces the chance of any lung problems or asthma triggers to be floating around.

At Hurliman Heating, we recommend every household invest in a good air filter! So we have compiled the essential information you'll need to select a perfect fir air conditioner filter. Read on to learn about the types and ratings of air filters, their compatibility with your ventilation system, and how often you need to replace your air filter.

How do Air Filters Work?

Air filters are an integral part of your home's ventilation system. The HVAC system in your home draws in air from the outside, which can contain allergens and pollutants. By absorbing or trapping airborne irritants, air filters in a system keep them out of your home.

Air filters with a high MERV rating, such as the Trane Perfect Fit Filter, can capture and hold up to 99 percent of various pollutants and particles, such as dust, dirt, pollen, bacteria, microorganisms, molds, hair, and animal dander.

Where can you find the Air Filter?

Your air filter's exact location will be determined by the airflow configuration of your HVAC system. The air filter is usually found where the return air duct connects to your HVAC cabinet.

The most common places to look for your air filter are:

●      Inside the furnace or air handler

●      At the return grill in the wall or ceiling,

●      Outside the furnace or air handler.

Use your HVAC manufacturer's manual to identify the exact location of the air filter.

Types of Air Filters

 There are various types of filters available for your ventilation system. 

  1. Fiberglass Filters: They are the most common and least expensive type of air filter. They effectively keep dirt and debris out of your HVAC system, but they don't do much for indoor air quality because they can't strain many airborne contaminants.

  1. Pleated Air Filters: Pleated air filters are made of cotton pleats or folds that allow air to pass through without being blocked. Like all air filters, pleated air filters trap contaminants. These filters come in both reusable and disposable varieties.

  1. High-Efficiency Particulate Air Filters (HEPA): These are the most efficient air filters. They can remove 99.97% of airborne particles, including mold and allergens as small as 0.3 microns. They can remove even the tiniest particles, such as cigarette smoke, and last for years.

  1. Ultraviolet Light Filters: UV filters kill bacteria and viruses by emitting shortwave UV light. This type of filter effectively kills microorganisms that can be harmful to your health, such as mold, but it is ineffective against pollutants such as dust.

  1. Washable or Reusable Filters: They are more expensive than disposable filters, but they will save you more money in the long run and are better for the environment. These filters, however, must be maintained regularly to ensure their effectiveness. Electrostatic Air Filters: By combining cotton and paper fibers, electrostatic air filters generate static electricity, which attracts dust and dirt particles, preventing them from spreading throughout your home. They are available in both disposable and reusable forms and are affordable. They are ideal for people with allergies.

How to Choose a Filter by MERV Rating

The MERV rating is an important consideration when selecting the perfect fit air conditioner filter. The MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) ratings are calculated measurements of your filter's weave tightness. The rating of an air filter determines the amount and type of particles it can trap.

Every air filter has a MERV rating ranging from 1 to 20. Filters with MERV ratings of 1–4 are generally inefficient. They can only capture large, visible particles and cannot prevent smaller microscopic pollutants from entering the air. A MERV 5–7 air filter can capture up to 85 percent of airborne particles. 

MERV 8 replacement filters, like the Trane Perfect Fit Filter, capture more than 95 percent of airborne particles and is ideal for homes with pets like dogs. It traps more dust, dirt, and allergens in the air, which can help to improve indoor air quality.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, people who are susceptible to adverse effects of pollutants tend to spend more time indoors. So If your home's occupants suffer from allergies, a MERV rating of greater than eight is preferable. However, such a filter may require a more advanced HVAC system design capable of pulling air through the fine fabric of the filter. Because not all systems can handle these filters, it's critical to check compatibility ahead of time. 

Consider your manufacturer's specifications to determine how high you can go with your MERV rating when selecting the perfect fit air conditioner filter. Installing a filter with an excessively high MERV rating can reduce your unit's lifespan and long-term efficiency.

Getting the Right Size Filter For Your HVAC

Using the perfect fit air filter for your HVAC unit helps to keep your system running smoothly and allows you to get the most out of your air filter. If your filter is too small or too large, air will flow around it rather than through it, and as a result, not all of the air will be filtered.

The size of an air filter is determined by measuring its length, width, and depth. To get these measurements, simply look at the filter already installed and buy the same size. For example, a perfect fit air tite filter 26x21x5 Trane will be 26 inches long, 21 inches wide, and 5 inches deep.

Before you order your replacement filters, you should order them by nominal size rather than actual size. The nominal size number is printed on cardboard near the filter's edge.

How to Change Your Air Filter

You should regularly maintain air filters in your home to avoid damage to the HVAC system and the spread of harmful pollen. We recommend changing your air filter at least every three months to ensure that your HVAC system continues to operate at peak efficiency.

Fortunately, air filters are cheap and simple to replace on your own. Once you've purchased the perfect fit air filter, the replacement process is as simple as the following:

  • Turn off your HVAC system before you check or replace your filter.

  • Remove the vent or cover that leads to the filter.

  • Take out any screws, clips, or latches holding the filter in place. To easily remove any coverings, you will need a screwdriver. 

  • Remove the old air filter and install a new one (or wash it if it is a reusable filter). The fresh air filter should be the same as the old one. Check that it is not installed backward or there are no gaps around the filter frame.

  • Remove any remaining dust before and after replacing the filter.

  • Replace the screws, clips, and coverings, and close the compartment.

  • Keep track of when you last replaced your filter, and make sure you check and replace it regularly. You can set a reminder on your phone or calendar to keep up with the task.

Get a Perfect Fit Air Filter Today

Carrier Air filters are available at Hurliman Heating online store. To make your purchase, all you have to do is provide us with the nominal size number printed along the side of the air filters you want to replace. We perform an onsite evaluation of all properties to determine what type of air purification system would work best for our customers.

The perfect fit air filter for your HVAC system is determined by its size or dimensions, MERV filtration rating, and filter material quality. Our team of IAQ experts is available to help homeowners across Spokane, WA, and surrounding areas breathe easier!