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1” Versus 4” Media Air Filters in Cincinnati Homes and Businesses


Not all furnace filters are created equally! Take a walk through the filter section of your favorite home improvement store and you’ll see – big, small, thick, thin – there are all sorts of HVAC filters!

The thickness of a furnace filter has a lot to do with its ability to trap airborne contaminant particles, keeping them out of your home’s or business’s indoor air supply.

  • Thicker filters are more efficient. Compared to a 1” media air filter, a 4” filter has more layers of material and a larger surface area which air passes through. This provides more opportunity for airborne contaminants to be trapped by the filter, pulling them from your air supply. As the filter pulls contaminants from your air, the filter’s surface area becomes clogged, providing less area to remove contaminants. 1” filters become clogged faster than 4” filters – operating your HVAC systems with a clogged filter diminishes indoor air quality because more contaminants pass through, and there is more stress placed on your system because a clogged filter restricts air flow. 1” filters with high MERV ratings actually cause restricted air flow issues, as they become clogged much faster than a 4” filter with the same MERV rating.
  • Thicker filters typically last longer. A 4” media air filter will have a longer service life than a 1” filter. This can save you money, and may be more of a convenience, as you’ll have fewer filter changes to worry about. Even so, no matter what thickness of filter you use, you should still check it periodically to make sure it has not become clogged with debris, requiring a change. Check what the filter manufacturer has recommended for changing frequency as a guide.

If you wish to upgrade to a 4” media air filter when your system has been using a 1” filter, you’ll need the assistance of an HVAC technician. Your current filter compartment doesn’t have the capacity to accommodate a bigger filter – you cannot simply cram a large filter into the small compartment.

Find the right filter for your Cincinnati home or business with the help of Nelson Comfort. We’ll match your system with the best filter for maximum efficiency and air cleaning. Call us today to learn more.

About The Author


Dan Detmer

Dan Detmer is the owner of Nelson Comfort. Dan was born into the heating and cooling industry, coming from a family of well respected HVAC contractors in Dayton, Ohio. After working in the family business, Dan decided to work for a local HVAC wholesale business helping local contractors grow their business. When he felt his heart moving him back into the residential and light commercial business, Dan joined the Mortimer Heating & Cooling team in Cincinnati, where he had called home and become part of the community for several years. After a short period of time Dan purchased the company and created what is today, Nelson Comfort. Today he operates a company based on integrity, honesty, and stellar customer service. If you have any questions feel free to tweet (at sign) NelsonComfort and we will get right back with you!

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