Serving Greenwood, Fishers, Carmel, Indianapolis & Surrounding Areas

February 2, 2023

What is an HVAC Filter? Answering your FAQs

There are a few questions that we receive regularly regarding HVAC filters. One thing we know for sure is that most people don’t realize how essential HVAC filters are in regards to the efficiency and longevity of their HVAC system.

Question 1: What is an HVAC Filter?

HVAC filters serve a very important purpose: to capture dust, dander, pollen and other unwanted particles, preventing them from circulating throughout your system and home. This not only improves the air quality in your home, it prevents dust from settling throughout the home as well as preventing debris from settling inside of your HVAC system, causing it to be less efficient and more prone to damage over time.

Question 2: How often should you change your filter?

There are many different opinions regarding the frequency of filter changes. We don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to any of the work we do, but that is especially true when it comes to filter changes. Our recommendation is to check your filter once per month and replace it only if it’s dirty. Your filter may appear clean even when it’s dirty, so it’s important to take an extra step when inspecting. To ensure your filter is being replaced when needed, go to your filter access, take the filter out, and perform the “light check”. To learn more about how to perform this simple test, read about it in our blog post here.

Question 3: Are all filters the same?

The short answer is NO! Not all filters are created equally. The first thing you are going to want to do is make sure your filter is properly sized. If you have a 4 or 5 inch wide filter rack, we recommend a thicker, longer lasting media filter.  Every filter is rated on the MERV scale or “minimum efficiency reporting value”, which scales from low to high. In the HVAC industry we call low end filters, like MERV 2 filters, “rock catchers” because that’s about all they’re good for. These filters are only capable of catching really large particulates, allowing most of the dust and debris to still pass through (read more about simple fixes for dusty houses here. High end HEPA filters will catch far more bacteria, pollen, and other particles but need to be changed more often. depending on the home. If you’re looking for a good balance of protection and airflow quality, we recommend MERV 8 filters as a starting point.

Question 4: Are filters the only way to treat the air in my home?

No, filters are not the only way to treat the air in your home. If you really want to improve the quality of the air in your home, we recommend whole home accessories such as humidifiers and air purifiers. Humidifiers for the whole home allow moisture into the airflow and can help with dry air, static electricity, and nose bleeds. Air purifiers treat the air that flows through your home and kill harmful bacteria, spores, allergens, and more. Air purifiers are ideal for those that suffer from seasonal allergies and sensitivities.


Remember, your filter is what keeps dust, debris, and particles from circulating through your system and home, keeping your home cleaner and your system working more efficiently. When you don’t change your filter often enough, the airflow through your system is diminished, forcing your system to work harder to circulate air. Over time this can damage your system, shorten its lifespan, hinder efficiency, and cost you more on your monthly energy bills.

We have been serving the residents of Central Indiana for over 20 years and we are dedicated to serving our fellow Hoosiers. If you are located in Central Indiana, we can provide you with a thorough inspection of your equipment, along with an honest opinion regarding the best fit for your home. We also offer an annual 5-star maintenance plan to help keep your system running smoothly and consistently, no matter the season.

Contact us at Complete Comfort Heating Air & Plumbing in Greenwood, IN, today for more information on heating, air conditioning & plumbing service. Call us at (317) 648-5133.

Author Bio:

Jackson Davis

Jackson is a HVAC expert with over 8 years experience and has a background in sales, information technology, and management. He is currently a leading HVAC Specialist and Comfort Consultant at Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing and has a passion for empowering people to make informed decisions regarding their HVAC systems. Connect with him on LinkedIn.

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