8 Common Myths About Home Air Filters

Did you know that over 90% of American homes have an air conditioning unit?

If you’re among them (and we’re guessing that you are) then you might not realize just how important air filters are for the health and efficiency of your unit.

If you don’t take care of them, you risk higher energy bills — and dirt and dust in your air.

In this post, we won’t just explain the purpose of an air filter.

We’ll also put to rest some of the most common myths and misconceptions that we’ve heard about home air filters.

Read on to become a more educated consumer — and to learn where you can get the best deal on air filters for homes.

1. You Only Need to Change Your Air Filter Once Every Three Months

We know: changing out your home air filters can sometimes be tough to remember.

And as long as your air conditioner still works, why should you bother to switch it out, right?


First of all, a clogged filter isn’t going to be able to do much to stop dirt and dust from coming into your home — because it’s already full.

Additionally, if you’ve noticed that your heating and cooling bills seem to have gone through the roof in the past few months?

If you haven’t started using your HVAC system more often, but are still seeing high bills, then it’s likely that a clogged filter is to blame.

In addition to driving up the costs of keeping your home cool, a clogged filter can also put some serious strain on your system as a whole. This means costly maintenance, and potentially a shorten overall lifespan of your HVAC system.

Plus, if you have pets in your home, or live in an especially dirty area?

Changing it once every three months just isn’t going to be enough. Instead, you may need to switch it up once every month.

2. Air Filters Only Get Rid of Dust

Many consumers are confused about the true purpose of air filters.

They assume that they are only able to eliminate dust from contaminating the air quality in your home. While it’s certainly true that an air filter purpose is to trap dust, that’s far from the only thing a filter can do.

In fact, today’s filters are specifically designed to get rid of a wide variety of pollutants and contaminants that can get into your home.

This includes dirt, allergens, and even pet dander/hair.

They can even help to filter out bacteria and viruses.

There are an alarming number and types of air pollutants that can find their way to your home. Installing a filter will help to ensure that they don’t cause respiratory problems or compromise the immune systems of the people you care about the most.

3. You Can Install the Air Filter Any Way You Want

So, you now understand that there are both financial and health reasons why it’s so important to change out your air filters for homes.

But are you still falling for the myth that it doesn’t really matter which you install your air filter?

If so, then there’s no way that it’s going to be as effective as you need it to be.

But how can you tell if you’re putting your filter in the correct way?

Each filter should come with arrows on the sides, indicating the best way to place them in the HVAC unit.

If you need a bit of extra help with understanding how to change the air filter in your home, then we suggest that you watch this tutorial.

If you still can’t seem to get the filter in correctly, call an HVAC specialist to help you. Trust us when we tell you that you’re far from the only person who has had to do so.

4. You Can Use Any Size of Filter

Many homeowners don’t realize that using a filter that’s even a few inches too small for their unit will seriously compromise its overall effectiveness.

A filter that’s the wrong size makes it all too easy for dust, dirt, and other debris to slip through the filter.

And if you’ve only lived in one home?

You may not even realize that there are different sizes of filter available. Before you buy your next filter, make sure that you’ve measured your unit to get the correct size.

However, what should you do if you’ve realized that you just can’t find a filter that’s a perfect fit for your unit?

Before you buy an oversized filter and attempt to trim it to fit your unit as close as possible, we suggest that you explore custom-sized air filters. You can choose the lengths for the short, long, and thick sides. You’ll also be able to select the specific filter performance level that you need.

5. Cleaning the Filter Could Damage It

What if you’ve ordered an air filter that’s designed to be cleaned, rather than replaced every three months?

Or, what if it’s not yet time to replace your home air filters, but you’d still like to give them a quick clean anyway?

Many people assume that it’s too risky to clean your air filters, as doing so could damage them. Instead, you just need to know how to clean them the right way.

Make sure that you vacuum the area around the filter and unit, in order to get rid of any lingering junk. Then, you can use a light flow of water to clean the filter.

In some cases, you may need to use liquid soap and water to get rid of more intense buildup.

6. The MERV Rating Doesn’t Really Matter

Many people think that they can buy a filter with any MERV rating.

After all, as long as it’s a filter, it will still work to get the junk out of your home’s air, right?

While this is true, you want to make sure that you’ve picked up a filter that can do the best possible job in your home. If you’ve chosen one that has too low of a MERV rating for your needs, your air quality will be impacted.

Most air filters will need a MERV rating of 8. If you don’t have any pets or smokers in your home, or if you don’t suffer from bad allergies, this will likely work well for you.

However, if you have a four-legged friend in your home?

We suggest that you go with a filter that has a MERV 11 rating on it. The same thing goes if you suffer from bad allergies.

If you need serious filtration — especially if you live in an urban area with lots of pollution — then select a MERV 13 air filter. This will also work for homes where mold and mildew is a large concern.

7. Branded Air Filters Are More Effective

Another common misconception when it comes to air filters for homes?

That you need to pay more in order to get high-quality filters. The truth is that you can find effective air filters that are also incredibly affordable.

You don’t need to pay more for the pedigree of a brand name when discounted air filters are just as effective.

Instead, shop smartly when it comes to your filters.

8. You Can’t Buy Air Filters Online

You don’t have to head to your local hardware store in order to get air filters for homes.

Instead, you can save time — and money — by shopping online for your next filter.

First of all, online shopping often gives you much more options than you would be able to find in a brick-and-mortar store. Additionally, you’ll be able to easily find customized options and the type of filter that your home needs.

You can buy several filters at once, and then have them conveniently shipped to your home.

Ready to Buy Home Air Filters?

In addition to helping you to separate the fact from the fiction when it comes to the purpose of air filters, we also hope you’ve learned how to use them effectively.

Now, there’s only one thing left for you to do: start shopping for new home air filters.

We can help you with that.

Spend some time on our online shop to browse through our extensive inventory of branded and customized air filters — all for a fraction of their usual cost.

When you’re ready to improve the air quality in your home without having to pay more than you should, start shopping with us.

2 thoughts on “8 Common Myths About Home Air Filters”

  1. I have purchased your AirX brand of filters. I need the best filter I can buy. I ordered 2 MRV13 filters. They get grey in color in one and one half months. Should they be replaced when they turn grey in color? There does not appear to be a great buildup of mterial on the filter though….Also, although the delivery carton says MRV13 on it, the filter itself does NOT have the MRV13 rating on it. Why? Is there something to hide? Other brands I have ordered stamp MRV13 right on the filter itself. Am I getting the best and whlat I am paying for? Please respond. I am considering changing vendors.

    • Hi Alexander! Thank you for your questions. If your filters are only gray in color after 45 days, it’s safe to leave it for up to 60-90 days. We recommend changing every 90 days to maintain the efficiency of your HVAC system and prevent build-up on the filter that would recirculate throughout your home.
      Rest assured that if you received a box of MERV 13 filters they are MERV 13! If you have any questions about your filters, please reach out to our customer service team at [email protected] or give them a call at 888-407-5688. They will be happy to help you further.

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