No, HVAC air filters vary in quality and measurements, and some have features that others don't. In most cases we recommend getting the filter your HVAC manufacturer says to pair with your system.
All filters are assigned MERV ratings, which vary from 1–20. MERV means minimum efficiency reporting value.
A higher value indicates the filter can trap more miniscule particles. This sounds outstanding, but a filter that catches finer dust can become blocked more quickly, increasing pressure on your equipment. If your unit isn’t made to run with this kind of filter, it may restrict airflow and create other problems.
Unless you reside in a medical center, you more than likely don’t have to have a MERV rating higher than 13. In fact, the majority of residential HVAC units are specifically engineered to work with a filter with a MERV level below 13. Frequently you will find that quality systems have been designed to operate with a MERV rating of 8 or 11.
All filters with a MERV level of 5 should trap the majority of the everyday nuisances, like pollen, pet dander and dust. Some filters say they can catch mold spores, but we advise having a professional eliminate mold rather than trying to hide the issue with a filter.
Usually the packaging demonstrates how regularly your filter should be changed. In our experience, the accordion-style filters hold up better, and are worth the added price.
Filters are created from varying materials, with disposable fiberglass filters being standard. Polyester and pleated filters catch more debris but may decrease your system’s airflow. Then there are HEPA (high efficiency particulate air) filters.
While you could be interested in using a HEPA filter, keep in mind that's like installing a MERV 16 filter in your HVAC system. It’s extremely unlikely your equipment was made to handle that level of resistance. If you’re troubled by indoor air quality. This product works along with your heating and cooling system.