When it comes to air filters, the debate between 1-inch and 2-inch filters is a common one. While the thickness of the filter is an important factor, there are other considerations to take into account when deciding which type of filter is best for your needs. The lifespan of a filter is one of the most important factors to consider. Generally speaking, a 2-inch filter will last longer than a 1-inch filter due to its increased thickness.
However, this difference in lifespan may not be as drastic as you think. Thicker filters, known as media filters, tend to perform better than cheaper 1-inch filters. The table below lists the standard size 1 inch, 2 inch, and 4 inch deep air conditioner filters for your air conditioner, oven, HVAC and Atomic Filters filters. Atomic Filters' whole-house air filter collections are also listed.
When it comes to a 1-inch vs. 2-inch oven filter, you can use a 2-inch filter if your vent is deep enough and a 2-inch filter will generally last longer since it has more media. So, if it fits your oven, then a 4-inch air cleaner is better than a 1-inch air cleaner when it comes to improving air quality. The MERV rating of an air filter is another important factor to consider when choosing between 1-inch and 2-inch filters. MERV ratings range from 1 to 16, with higher numbers correlating with smaller filter pores for better filtration of particles in the air.
A 4-inch thick filter will have approximately twice as many surface areas as a 2-inch thick filter, allowing it to capture and retain more particles in the air. However, being more efficient at capturing particles means that you will clog the filter faster, resulting in more filter changes. If your current oven only allows oven filter sizes with a depth of one inch, HVAC contractors can modify the oven to accommodate larger sizes. This charge allows the fibers of the filter media to capture tiny particles much more efficiently without restricting air flow. In conclusion, when deciding between 1-inch and 2-inch filters, it's important to consider not only the thickness of the filter but also its MERV rating and lifespan. If your oven's air cleaner compartment is only 3 inches thick, then a 1-inch oven filter is the better choice than a 4-inch filter.
However, if your vent is deep enough and you're looking for improved air quality, then a 4-inch air cleaner is the way to go.