Should I upgrade my air filter? - Progressive Heating, Air and Plumbing Skip to main content
Heating Cooling and Plumbing Blog

Should I upgrade my air filter?

By March 9, 2023September 14th, 2023No Comments

Did you know you can upgrade the air filter in your home?

A common question we get is, ‘how often should I change my air filters?’

It’s a good question as this plays an important role in your indoor air quality. It also plays a major role in the efficiency of your system’s airflow.

better question to consider is, ‘should I upgrade my air filter?’

One of the best things you can do to improve your indoor air quality and the efficiency of your HVAC system is to upgrade your filtration system.


Ultimately what you want is a system that will adequately filter the air to keep contaminants out, while also allowing adequate airflow.

The purpose of an air filter is to keep your HVAC system clean, as well as your indoor air.

One of the issues with the 1-inch standard filter is that while it may filter out the dust and other particles, it can increase the static pressure in your HVAC system.

So, although it’s common to think that paying more for a 1-inch filter provides better filtration, it can cause the system to not breath as well, decrease efficiency, restrict airflow from the increasing static pressure and ultimately damage your system.

When you upgrade your air filtration system, your air filter changes from the standard 1-inch filter to a 4-inch box filter, known as a ‘media filter’.

You can see the difference here:

Here’s why the upgrade is better:

  • The media filter has more surface area to capture more debris, particulates, and pollens in the air.
  • These filters provide better filtration over the standard 1-inch filters, while preventing significant static pressure increases.
  • And, big bonus, media filters require less frequent replacement than standard 1-inch filters.

To address the question of how often you need to replace filters, whether it’s a 1-inch or media, depends on several variables, such as:

  • The size of your home
  • If you have leaky ductwork
  • If you have kids and/or pets, and how many
  • Type of flooring, e.g., carpet, wood, etc.
  • Location of vents, whether in or near the floor, or in the ceiling
  • The overall use of your home, as in, day-to-day or a weekend/vacation home.

As an example, walking over floor vents will cause dust to get into the ductwork much faster than, say, your ceiling vents. More pets mean more pet hair on your filters faster. You get the idea.

Remember this: Every particulate that’s filtered out means airflow not getting through.

This is why we recommend upgrading to media filters. They provide the airflow your system needs along with the better filtration you want in your home.

We really can’t stress enough the importance of changing your filters regularly, depending on the system you have and, of course, the variables listed above.

Here’s an example of what you don’t want your filters to look like:

Changing standard 1-inch filters:

We recommend changing a 1-inch filter monthly, and no less than every three months.

Again, be careful choosing the MERV rating on a 1-inch, as the higher-filtration levels mean they’ll need replacing more often. And they can damage your system faster.

Changing media filters:

If you were to upgrade to a media filter system, replacement typically ranges from every three to six months, again depending on your unique household circumstances.

We can help you assess what modifications need to be made to your ductwork as well as how often to change out your media filters if you’re heading this direction.

Plus, our maintenance programs provide different options for filter replacement needs.

If you have questions about upgrading your filter, or any concerns about your existing system, we’re a phone call away.

Give us a ring at 770-692-4138

About OMG Support

(770) 692-4138