Media Filters VS. AC Filters

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When you are concerned about the indoor air quality in your Farmington or Greenwood home, it is essential to understand how a standard AC filter works to recognize the added benefits of an upgrade to a media filter. The Blue Ox heating And Air team is happy to discuss additional filtration options for your home when you call us at 952-208-4570. However, we would first like to offer a little basic information about the function of your HVAC filter and how a media filter works.


A traditional HVAC air filter removes the dust, dirt, and particles from the air just before it is drawn into the blower and circulated throughout the ducts in your home. These filters are often made of pleated cloth or paper and trap the dirt that could damage the delicate components in the blower. Many consumers think the filter is meant to clean the air circulating in the house to benefit those breathing it. However, that is not the case.


The filter in your HVAC system will have a MERV rating that ranges from 1 to 16. MERV stands for minimum efficiency reporting value and is a fancy term to let you know how efficient the filter is at removing dust and dirt from the air. The higher the MERV, the more filtration it offers. In addition, the cost of the higher MERV filters will be more than the lower-rated filters. Homeowners should also understand that the higher-rated filters will trap more debris and become clogged faster than lower-rated filters. So you will need to monitor them more closely to avoid a clogged filter that is starving the HHVAC system for airflow.


Media filters are an added feature located in a cabinet placed in a return air duct. The media filter removes pollutants like mold, dust, and pet dander as the air passes through the HVAC system. In terms of filtration, a typical HVAC filter is about an inch thick. A media filter will be between 4 and 5 inches thick on average and provide far superior filtration.


As you can imagine, these filters deliver much cleaner air due to the increased density of the filter. Experts estimate that the media filter provides up to 40 times more filtration than a standard HVAC filter. Media filters remove:

  • Particles as small as .1 micron, which is 300 to 1,000 times smaller than the thickness of a single human hair
  • Up to 98% of all airborne particles, including bacteria, mold spores, and viruses

The added filtration capabilities of a media filter make these units a wise investment for anyone who suffers from a weakened or compromised immune system.

To learn more about the installation of a media filter for your home’s HVAC system or other air purification products, call 952-208-4570 to schedule an appointment with an air quality expert at Blue Ox Heating And Air.