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4 Hazards of Using the Wrong Air Filter Size

An air filter plays a crucial role in maintaining excellent indoor air quality. It helps regulate the right temperature in the home for enhanced comfort. Therefore, you should maintain it in optimal condition through cleaning, regular maintenance, and repair. In some cases, you may have to replace your AC, and you should get the right filter size. Otherwise, you may have to endure various risks.

Here are four hazards of using the wrong air filter size...

1. Poor fit

A filter that does not fit properly can damage the HVAC system or have safety risks. If the filter is too small or large for the system, it can slip out or become detached from its proper place. As a result, air contaminants and particles will enter the system and circulate throughout your home. 

Avoid bending trimming an oversized filter, as it won’t seal appropriately and will allow air to leak through and around the curve. Instead, choose the right one from the many air filter sizes in the market. And if you’re unsure of the filter size you need, you can consult your HVAC technician for help.

2. Inadequate filtration

The filter size impacts the ability to capture particles and contaminants. So, choose the best air filter sizes that are compatible and effective. If your filter is too small, it won’t be able to trap all particles from the air. It will cause poor indoor air quality and health issues such as allergies and asthma.

3. Reduced airflow

The wrong filter size can restrict the air through the HVAC system, leading to low efficiency. The reduction will result in overheating and health issues like allergies or respiratory diseases.

If it’s too dense, the air conditioner will run longer to counteract increased air resistance. If it’s too small, it will allow contaminants to build up on critical parts, impairing efficiency.

4. Increases your energy bill

If you use the wrong filter size, it will result in more energy consumption. The system will consume more power and break down more frequently. The right air filter size will improve your health and comfort without sending your accounts through the roof.

Tips for choosing the right size air filter

You can use various ways to find the exact size filter for your HVAC system. Here are some of the tips you can follow in choosing the suitable one;

  • Check the current filter

Most filter sizes are printed on their body. The dimensions are width, length, and depth, for example, 17×25×2. So, if you check your filter, you might find its actual measurement written on it.

  • Measure the current filter

If the dimensions are not written on it, you can measure the filter using tape. Carefully measure the width, length, and depth in inches and use the measurements when buying one.

  • Check the HVAC user’s manual

The user’s manual is another effective way to find the right size air filter. You can check it or directly contact the manufacturer of your system. They will help you figure out the exact size using the specification of your filter.


An air filter is the most crucial component of your HVAC system. The secret is to get the right size for higher system performance. But if you use the wrong size, you’ll face the above hazards ranging from low efficiency to higher costs. So, be cautious to ensure you get a suitable air filter size for your system.

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