Commercial HVAC Air Filters Guide

Commercial HVAC Air Filters Guide

Proper air filtration is required in almost all commercial areas from restaurants and hotels to schools and healthcare facilities. HVAC Air filters are one of the key components of an industrial HVAC system.

What is an HVAC Air Filter?

It is a semi-permeable shield placed in your HVAC system. It stands between the system and the air inside your home. It is responsible for keeping your indoor air quality free of impurities and contaminants and keeps the air fresh and clean. The impurities can include dust, pollen, and pet dander

If your commercial space is getting less airflow, your air filter may be choked or dirty.  An under-maintained or dirty air filter would restrict the airflow and prevent the system from working like it’s expected to. Eventually, it would lead to an equipment breakdown. 

Cleaning and replacing your HVAC Air Filters regularly is the key to fresh air. Nowadays, there are many air filters available in the market. Choosing the right air filter is necessary for your facility. This air filter guide will give you provide detailed information about HVAC filters and how you can choose the best one. 

Types of HVAC Air Filters

Commercial HVAC Air Filters Guide

Mentioned hereunder are the different types of HVAC air filters available in the market. It is essential to know the different types and select the one that best fits your home. 

HEPA Filters

HEPA  is an acronym for “high-efficiency particulate air (filter)”. HEPA  filters provide the most protection against impurities in the air and trap 99.97% of particles. They are able to trap particles and contaminants as small as 0.3 microns. Commercial HEPA air filters tend to be larger and have higher MERV ratings.  

HVAC Pleated Air Filters

The Pleated air filters can trap any mold spores and pet dander. They are made of polyester and cotton. Its folded, accordion-style build captures dust, dander, dirt, and other pollutants in the air. These filters have a pleated design that increases the filter’s surface area and efficiency than non-pleated filters. This ensures that maximum particles are removed during the filtration process.

They are much better than fiberglass filters and significantly improve your indoor air quality. 

Typically Pleated air filters come in disposable and reusable designs. They are available at affordable prices. While pleated filters’ price and effective pollutant resistance is a major advantage, their disadvantage is that they pull air through your HVAC unit. This makes the unit work harder and less efficiently.   

Flat-Paneled Fiberglass Filters

Fiberglass filters, also known as spun glass filters, are a cost-effective option. They are designed to protect your unit from being damaged by large particles. For the most part, fiberglass filters are effective as they can trap some dirt, dust, and allergens. 

They fall short compared to pleated filters when it comes to filtering out the smaller contaminants in the air such as pollen, pet dander, and bacteria. If you want great protection from allergens that causes asthma or allergies, use can skip this and consider other options. 

Reusable Air Filters

Reusable air filters can be washed or cleaned for continued use. They are more sustainable as you do not have to replace your filter each time. While sustainability is its major advantage, its drawback is that these filters have a very low MERV rating. They do not improve your air quality and can also attract mold and mildew growth if installed before they are completely dry.

Common Problems with HVAC Air Filters

Here are some of the issues a dirty AC filter can cause which can be an indication for you to change the filters of your system

AC not cooling

One of the most common problems is an AC not blowing cool air and a dirty air filter is its potential cause. If your filter is clogged, air won’t flow through properly and your home won’t cool down.


During the day, an HVAC system will typically shut off and restart a few times. However, this should not happen constantly. When your Air Conditioner is turning on and off repeatedly it can make the system less energy-efficient.

AC Leaking Water

One possible cause of your ac leaking water all of a sudden is when your evaporator coil freezes. A clogged air filter can restrict airflow.  When cold air can’t flow out, it leads to a frozen coil and water leakage.

Bad Indoor Air Quality

An undermaintained air filter can cause dust and allergens to quickly build up on your air filter. If this filter gets dirty, these particles can quickly spread throughout your house and negatively affect the health of you and your family. This can aggravate asthma and allergies in people prone to it.  

Increased Utility Bills

If your utility bills have suddenly skyrocketed, a dirty AC filter is one common culprit for this.

Related: Energy saving tips for your HVAC system

Reduced System life-span 

Proper maintenance is essential to increase the life expectancy of your hvac system. Negligence in changing dirty AC filters timely can cause your unit to work harder for longer periods of time. This can result in increased wear and tear and even system failure.

Benefits of replacing HVAC Air Filters regularly

Commercial HVAC Air Filters Guide

There are numerous benefits of replacing HVAC air filters regularly such as:

Make Your HVAC System Last Longer

Clogged air filters allow more dirt and debris to get trapped within your entire system. This results in making your hvac equipment work harder, shortening its lifespan. An overworked system can break down sooner. By paying attention to regular filter replacement, the expense of hvac system replacement can be delayed 

Improve Your Home’s Air Quality 

As HVAC air filters trap harmful elements such as dust, dirt, pollen, bacteria, spores, pet dander, and whatnot. Air filters should be changed every 30-90 days. This helps them capture as much dirt and debris as possible so your living space is a healthy one.

Improve Energy Efficiency

Clogged air filters make it hard for the HVAC system to push air through the ductwork. When your system is overworked,  it has a higher potential of breaking down. An HVAC system that’s working at optimal efficiency will result in lower energy bills.

Save Money on Repairs

Replacing your system’s air filters prevents unnecessary damage and can save you money. Worn-out air filters lead to worn-out parts such as bad blower motors or compressors.

Factors to Consider When Choosing HVAC Air Filters

An HVAC system is an essential part of a commercial or residential area. Not only does it keep your indoors clean and fresh, but it also creates a healthy environment for the people. Following are some factors needed to be considered before buying HVAC air filters

Original vs aftermath filters

You will come across two types i.e original and aftermarket filters. When you go for buying them, both are equally efficient, but they have distinguishing features

Original filters belong to the same brand as the air system and are made by manufacturers of air systems to be used with their hvac models.

Aftermarket filters are made by independent manufacturers to use with existing air systems. They are usually cheaper than the original ones although they may be the same in design and quality

Type of air filter

There are different types of HVAC air filters in the market including, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA), carbon filters, pleated filters, fiberglass filters, electrostatic filters, electronic filters, etc. Further, there are several models under each of these categories and each of them is designed to meet specific needs.


Know the size of the filter before you set out to buy them. Use a measuring tape to get the actual width, height, and length of the filters you need

Air quality needs

Air quality needs vary from space to space. For example, people with breathing issues and other allergies may require a higher-quality filter for efficient air purification. 

Filter performance

Filters are rated based on their performance. The higher the filter rating, the more efficient it is. If you have allergy issues, you can buy a filter with a MERV 8 rating or higher. Also keep in mind that the more efficient a filter is, the more it overworks the system, which can be damaging.

Proper Installation and Maintenance of HVAC Air Filters

Commercial HVAC Air Filters Guide

Replacing and installing HVAC air filters isn’t the only necessary AC unit maintenance step that leads to a longer-lasting HVAC system. Regular tune-up and maintenance on your system should be done at least once annually.

Proper installation and regular maintenance of air filters are inevitable for the long-lasting and smooth functioning of your while hvac system. Poorly installed HVAC air filters can overwork the system which can lead to its breakdown. 

We encourage you to contact Alturas hvac contractors. Our team of experts at Alturas provides air filter installation and maintenance services 24/7. In case of emergency maintenance, our professional technicians will run a diagnosis and figure out the issue. They will provide the service accordingly.

Call our HVAC service providers to schedule your next HVAC system maintenance appointment and make sure your home remains comfortably cool all summer long.

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