furnace filter

Your furnace filter has a big job ahead it, filtering all the dust and debris that comes between your furnace, air ducts, and eventually your lungs. As a leading heating and cooling specialist in Ontario, Noll ClimateCare often receives questions about furnace filter sizes, the most common being, “does furnace filter size matter?” The short answer is, “yes”, and we’re going to tell you why.

5-Inch Furnace Filter vs. 1-Inch

The standard furnace filter sizes are 1-inch or 5-inches in thickness. 1-inch filters tend to be cheaper, and are found in shops across Ontario, including grocery stores and dollar stores. However, the age-old adage, “you get what you pay for” rings true in the case of filters, as it turns out thickness plays a role in functionality and longevity.

So, how does furnace filter size matter? Like this:

  • Larger area for catching debris: 5-inch air filters offer a thick surface area of accordion-shaped material to catch all the dirt you want to keep away from your family. For cleaner air, the thicker filter provides less debris slipping through the cracks.
  • Fewer blockages: When comparing 5-inch air filter vs 1-inch filters, one of the main differences is how quickly the thin filters get blocked. These filters need to be replaced more frequently to keep air flowing.
  • Longer lifespan: Due to the reduced blockages in 5-inch filters, you will spend less replacing them, as fewer are needed each year.
  • Stiffer builds for steadfast seal: 1-inch filters have less material to control, which means the frames are thinner. Thin frames have flimsy seals which let through unfiltered air, defeating the purpose of your filter. 5-inch frames are thicker and fit into the furnace more seamlessly.

Along with these benefits, you may also find that a 5-inch furnace filter vs a 1-inch filter makes a difference to the life of your HVAC system. The more air that’s able to pass through a filter, the less wear and tear you put on your furnace.

In need of a new filter? Make sure you get the right size! To learn more about furnace filters and why they matter, contact our team today!

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Choosing a Filter that Fits

Now that you know the true answer to the question, “does furnace filter size matter,” it’s important to talk about standard furnace filter sizes in terms of nominal and actual size.

The nominal size of a furnace filter is a rounded-up number that fits more into standard filter marketing. For example, you might see a filter that measures at 20x0x1 or 20x20x5. The 20×0 refers to the dimensions of the frame, while the 1 or 5 refers to the thickness.

The actual size of the air filter may not be as simple as 20x20x5. In fact, it may be off by something as large as 1/4th of an inch or as little as 1/16th of an inch. This is where having a professional’s guidance can really help ensure your filter fits your furnace properly.

Contact Noll ClimateCare Today

If you are unsure about which filter you need for your HVAC unit. it may be time to call the experts! Contact our team today to learn more about how installing the right filter can improve your air quality.

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