Can I Use a Different Size Furnace Filter?

The thickness of an oven filter can determine how often it needs to be replaced. Generally, filters with a depth of up to one inch should be changed every one to three months. Using an incorrect size air filter won't necessarily damage your HVAC system, but it can reduce its efficiency and cause an increase in your utility bill. When it comes to air conditioning and oven filters, it's essential to understand the size you need.

Air filters are labeled with three different dimensions: length, width, and thickness or depth. You can choose a filter that is longer than the size of the opening, but if it's too small or too large, air will flow around the filter instead of through it, resulting in unfiltered air. The biggest concern when using an improperly sized air filter is that it may not effectively prevent dust buildup on the motors and blowers of your HVAC system. To determine the nominal size of the air cleaner, round down to the nearest integer.

If you have to jam the air filter to install it, try a different brand or a custom-sized air filter with a slightly smaller actual size. HVAC technicians know what type of filter your oven can handle and what is best for your system. The thickness of the air cleaner ranges from 1 to 5 inches deep; some options are more common than others, and your oven can dictate the thickness you can use. Look for where the return duct connects to your oven and there should be a plate that covers the slot where the air cleaner enters.

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