3 Types of HVAC Filters: How to Choose the Right One

Owning an HVAC system can improve the air quality within your home. Through its cooling and heating systems, you can even improve your family’s experience during the summer and winter seasons. However, some frequently asked questions are what is the best type of filter to use and how do you choose the right one? Here are some common HVAC filters and a few tips on how to choose the best one.

What is an HVAC Filter?

An HVAC filter is designed to remove dust, dirt, pollen, and pet hair from the air through the air-conditioning system. There are a lot of filters available in the market today, but they all serve a specific purpose depending on the material they are made out of.

Different Types of HVAC Filters

Here are some of the most common ones and where they should be used:

1. Pleated Air Filter

A pleated air filter is great for heavy-duty dirt and dust trapping. They are advanced filters that offer a much higher level of filtration than standard filters. Made from cotton fibres, they can trap anything, including mould, bacteria, smoke, lint, and dust. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, they are also efficient in capturing microscopic airborne particles.

2. Washable Air Filters

Washable air filters are made of a synthetic and washable material that’s meant to last a year. They require washing at least once a month, and they can be reused. They might be reusable, but they don’t filter as well as other options. However, if your goal is to be environmentally friendly while being cost-effective, they are a perfect choice.

3. Fiberglass Air Filters

Fibreglass air filters are the most common. They can be identified through their blue markings and are found in most hardware and retail stores. Made from spun fibreglass, they capture larger particles in the air. They are also called disposable filters as they are only meant to last a month before they need to be replaced. They are more popular in labs and hospitals as well as specialized facilities that require cleaner air.

Tips in Choosing HVAC Filters

Choosing the “right” and “perfect” filter for the HVAC system should depend on your needs. Aside from that, you should consider the correct filter size as there is no common size that fits all units. The size varies on the manufacturer and model. Once you have the filter installed, make sure that it faces the correct direction too. The arrow on a new HVAC filter should point towards the direction where the air flows.


Choosing a filter for your HVAC system is a fun experience, especially if you already know what you are looking for. You can also ask store representatives to help you choose. Before going to the store, think of the reasons why you need an air filter, as it will help you choose the right one for your HVAC system.

Legacy Heating and Cooling offers the most comprehensive and cost-effective HVAC products and services in Edmonton. If you’re looking for an HVAC filter, we can help you pick the right one for your system. Give us a call, and we’ll give you a free quote on the services you have in mind for us.

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