Can You Have Too Big of an Air Filter?

Find out if you can cut an air filter that is too big for your system and how it affects your HVAC system's performance.

Can You Have Too Big of an Air Filter?

When it comes to air filters, size matters. If you buy a filter that is too large, it won't fit properly into the slot. On the other hand, if it's too small, it won't cover the entire space and may allow dust and dirt to pass through. So, can you cut an air filter if it's too big? The answer is yes, but only if you know what you're doing and if the filters don't get too weak from the cut. Using an incorrectly sized air filter won't necessarily damage your HVAC system right away.

Before attempting any HVAC unit manipulations or return air central ventilation, make sure to adjust the thermostat to turn off the air conditioning system. If you experience symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, and other cold or flu symptoms when the air conditioner is turned on, you may have an air quality problem.

Traditional flat panel air filters

are the least expensive but also the least effective. To understand how air filters work and whether cutting them would change any properties that would allow them to do their job, you need to research their purpose and how they work. Air quality may not be something you notice in your home right away, but it can have a significant effect on your health, especially if someone in your family has a history of asthma, allergies, or other respiratory conditions. Air filters block dust, mold, pollen, and finer dust such as coal or lead which is useful if you live in an area with poor air quality.

MERV is a scale ranging from 1 to 20 developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers to measure the ability of a filter to remove particulates from the air. It's worth noting that the process of charging particles into the air can sometimes create small amounts of ozone through ionization. In a few years' time, you may be able to buy a HEPA filter air conditioner for your home at a relatively cheap price. HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air and is given to any air filter that works above a certain threshold. HVAC service companies typically offer air filter replacement services in addition to system repair and unit installation services. In the long run, it's much cheaper to replace the filter regularly than having to replace the entire air conditioner.

If you're especially concerned about indoor air quality but don't want to break the bank with a more technologically advanced purifier, an extended media filter should work fine without interfering with normal HVAC operation. After COVID-19, many HVAC companies have worked hard to design systems that can handle HEPA filters so they can remove viruses and bacteria from the air as it circulates.