The Role of Air Filters in Air Conditioners: Improving Air Quality and Efficiency

Air filters play a crucial role in the air conditioner’s functioning, for both the system efficiency and the quality of indoor air. 

Let us discuss in detail about the role of air filters in air conditioners through this article.

What is Air Filter?

Air filter is used to filter the particles and to provide improved air quality. Air filters are mostly constructed with spun fiberglass material or fine paper or cloth knitted in a cardboard frame.

Air filters are usually designed in porous structure, to capture and filter the larger particles and contaminants. It includes dust, dirt, pollen, mold, fibers and lint, metal, plaster or wood particles, hair, pet/animal fur, bacteria and microorganisms.

Hence, the air filter should be very clean as it may easily affect the people, who are sensitive to allergens or being affected by breathing disorders like asthma.

Efficiency Ratings

Air quality’s efficiency is measured through MERV, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Rating Values. It refers to the amount of different sized particles that get captured or filtered. If the MERV rating is high, it filters the particles from air more efficiently.

This MERV rating usually ranges between 1 to 20.

  • MERV 1-4: It provides a basic filtration.
  • MERV 6-8: It provides good filtration by capturing particles.
  • MERV 9-12: These filters provide better filtration by capturing very small particles of 1 micron or larger.
  • MERV 13-16: These filters are the best as they can remove very small particles of 0.3 microns or larger.
  • MERV 17-20: These filters are used in pharmaceuticals to capture viruses, dust and the smallest smoke particles.

Role of Air Filters in Air Conditioners

1.Improved Air Quality

Air filters help to provide improved and good air quality by removing particles such as dust, dirt, pollen, pet fur and more. It safeguards the people who are sensitive to allergens or being affected by breathing disorders.

2.Protecting HVAC Components

These air filters are used to protect the HVAC components from the damage due to scaling of particles on coils, blower fan, and motor. As it might lead to reduced performance and efficiency.

3.Extend Lifespan

Air filters also help in extending and enhancing the lifespan of air conditioners by protecting the HVAC components. Because the air filters facilitate maintaining efficiency and also reduces repair and replacement.

4.Energy Efficient

 If the air filter is clogged with dirt and dust, it doesn’t consume more power to perform better. So cleaning the air filters in regular intervals also matters to use the air conditioner more efficiently.

5.MERV Ratings

Minimum Efficiency Rating Values (MERV) means, the quantity of particles filtered in various sizes. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filtration in the air conditioner. Also high MERV AC costs higher than regular.

Checklist of Air Filter for Proper Functioning

1.Filter Inspection

Check your air filters and assess their condition regularly. Because, if the air filter is dirty it leads to a lot of problems with the AC. During sunny days, check the air filter at least once a month. 

2.Change The Filters

If the air filter is too dirty, then it is time to change the filter. The frequency of changing the air filters may vary based on the filter type and usage. It is recommended to check the user manual or contact a qualified technician for guidance. 

3.Choose The Right Filter

Choosing higher-quality air filters work better with the air conditioner. There are various types of filters ranging from standard fiberglass filters to high-efficiency HEPA filters.Each air filter has different levels of filtration efficiency and the one you choose will depend on your specific air quality needs. 

4.Regular Maintenance 

Schedule a regular maintenance check for the entire AC system at least once a year. This ensures the proper functioning as the technician will be able to provide a thorough cleaning of the filter or a replacement, depending on the necessary at the time. 


The role of air filter is the primary factor in the air conditioner as it helps in enhancing the indoor air quality and also for improving the efficiency of the HVAC system.


This is Aneesha, an emerging SEO Specialist and Content Writer from the past 3 months who focuses on home and kitchen appliances, electronic gadgets and others. I'm passionate about reviewing, writing detailed articles and also optimizing content.

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