Are Generic Furnace Filters Good for Your Home?

When it comes to furnace filters, there is no difference in quality between OEM and generic filters. The OEM filter is made by the brand manufacturer, while the generic equivalent is designed to fit and work just as well. Many manufacturers also claim that their air conditioning filters are “allergen filters”, but these are usually only filters with a MERV 11 rating or higher. Universal air filters provide a protective layer that prevents harmful particles from entering and allows clean, fresh air to enter.

These filters will adapt to a wide variety of types of air conditioning systems, but they need to be changed over time. An easy way to choose a replacement filter is to purchase the same filter you're already using in your system. Any pleated air conditioning filter can improve your home's indoor air quality by trapping dust, pollen and other small particles. At the lower end of the scale, the filters are made of fiberglass or mesh and can capture large particles such as hair, fibers from clothing and carpets, and some pollen. Some filter brands and retailers use alternative scales, such as the Home Depot Air Filter Performance Rating (FPR) system or the MPR (in 3M Filtrete air filters).

An air system needs maintenance to check for problems and replace old filters to ensure that air systems remain clean and efficient. You'll often find a perfect filter in stock at a hardware store, but sometimes you'll have to order the correct filter size online. If your current filters are perfect, write down (or take a picture) of the size printed on the filter frame. Because HEPA filters have such tight filtration, they tend to restrict airflow so much that they are not practical for most residential forced air systems. Around the MERV 8, filters were normally designed with pleated material and could reliably capture pollen, mold spores and many types of household dust. The new air filters you use should be similar in size to the old ones to ensure a proper fit.

Generic furnace filters can provide your home with an effective layer of protection against harmful particles in the air. With regular maintenance and replacement of your furnace filter, you can ensure that your home's air remains clean and healthy.