5 Tips to Avoid Costly Mistakes When Buying Furnace Filters Online

Updated September 7th, 2023

It is common knowledge that certain pollutants are more present indoors than outdoors. Most of us spend a large percentage of our time indoors, which means that we are regularly exposed to these pollutants. Such an occurrence does not bode well for our health.

Technology has provided us with a way to protect ourselves in the form of air filtration equipment. However, when these filters are faulty, we often lose our protection against pollutants. In such instances, we may be required to purchase new filters, and navigating this process can involve some errors. Continue reading to discover some insightful tips to avoid costly mistakes when buying filters online.

Know the Size of Your Filter

When looking to buy a furnace filter online, ascertain the size of the current one. One of the biggest mistakes people make when purchasing an air filter online is ordering the wrong size, which may incur extra shipping fees when you have to return it.

While your filter will come with its size printed on it, this is not fully reliable. Such sizes are referred to as nominal sizes, and they are rounded up, and may not be entirely accurate. Take measurements of your current filter to get the actual size and buy the right product. You can use a tape measure for this. You can also search online for an air filter chart. Don’t forget they are measured in length, width, and depth.

Determine the Correct MERV Rating

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value; it is a scale for measuring the efficiency of air filters. The higher the MERV rating of a filter, the more particles it can capture. However, a higher MERV rating translates to more restrictions on airflow.

Unless it is necessary, you should stick to a product with a low MERV rating. Instances where a high MERV rating is important are:

  • If you live in a highly polluted area
  • If your home has a lot of pollutants, such as paints, adhesives, wood preservatives, and air fresheners
  • If you have a smoker or pet in your home

If a filter with a high rating is necessary, consult with an HVAC professional to ensure your equipment can cope with the reduced airflow.

Luckily if you live in Leesburg, VA, you can easily find an expert to help you decide on the right filter. From regular inspections to replacement and heating repair service in Leesburg, VA many HVAC companies offer a range of services. To ensure you hire a reliable business, make sure to check their customer reviews online first.

Choose Your Filter’s Type

The next thing to do is to choose your filter’s type. By determining the MERV rating, you have already set the foundation. You can choose between the following:

  • Fiberglass filters: Lowest MERV ratings. They are the least expensive and will require regular changing. They are not the best if you want a high quality of indoor air, though.
  • Pleated filters: Appropriate for moderate to high MERV ratings.
  • HEPA filters: Have the highest MERV ratings.

Replace Your Filter Regularly

Many people buy a furnace filter, install it, and leave it unchanged for an extensive period of time. This has the potential to be a costly mistake and is highly discouraged. Change your filter regularly, as it gets dirty and clogged up with use. Failure to do this can result in rising energy bills and damage to your HVAC system.

Buy Filters In Bulk

People also make the mistake of buying filters on an as-needed basis. However, buying them in bulk is a much cheaper alternative and is highly recommended, especially since they need to be changed regularly.


Choosing the right filter for your furnace or HVAC system is important. When purchasing air filters or furnace filters online, ensure that you buy the right size and type. Also, opt for products with higher MERV ratings. With the tips above, you can raise the quality of air in your home and ensure your air equipment works optimally. This will result in you saving money and elongating the lifespan and durability of your furnace.

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