What Filter Should I Use In My Condo HVAC? – Home Trade Standards

If you live in a condo, you may be wondering what filter size or quality needs to be used for your condo HVAC system. We will discuss briefly what’s best for your equipment.  

There are two common filters used in vertically stacked HVAC systems. 1. Wireframe Filters 2. Pleated Filter. 

Wireframe Filters

These filters are disposable made of fibreglass They have a MERV rating of 1 to 4. Typically, you should be able to hold these filters and see through them. If they are dirty, you should be able to detect it is time to replace them. 

Pleated Filters

Pleated Filters are disposable filters. These filters have a MERV rating of 5 to 8. They have a more solid design compare to basic wireframe filters. Due to higher MERV and better quality, these filters can catch more dirt and particles in the air. We recommend these filters for most HVAC applications.

MERV Rating – What Is MERV Rating?

MERV stands for “Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value”.  MERV rating on an air filter describes its efficiency as a means of reducing particles of 0.3 to 10 microns. The higher the “MERV” rating means higher filtration efficiency or simply the better it is at trapping particles within that size range. These ratings indicate a filter’s ability and performance to capture larger particles between 0.3 and 10 microns (µm). The data of the table below is derived from a test method developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). The higher the MERV rating the better the filter is at trapping specific types of particles.

MERV RatingAverage Particle Size Efficiency in Microns
1-43.0 – 10.0 less than 20%
63.0 – 10.0 49.9%
83.0 – 10.0 84.9%
101.0 – 3.0 50% – 64.9%, 3.0 – 10.0 85% or greater
121.0 – 3.0 80% – 89.9%, 3.0 – 10.0 90% or greater
140.3 – 1.0 75% – 84%, 1.0 – 3.0 90% or greater
160.3 – 1.0 75% or greater

Vertical Fan Coil Filter Sizes

Vertical Fan Coil Systems or VFC units are the most common heating and air conditioning systems in Toronto & GTA. You can use two types of filters:

1. Wire Frame

2. Pleated Filters

Fan Coil Filter Sizes

Air filters for standard HVAC and vertical fan coil (VFC) units. You can use basic wire-frame filters to the superior MERV 13 pleated filters. To get the most optimal airflow, typically, we recommend using MERV 8 Pleated Filters for fan coil systems. Our recommendation is to go with MERV 8 Pleated Filter. The higher the filtration (MERV rating) the more restrictive the filter is to airflow and this may impact the performance and life of your fan coil equipment. Generally, all the well-known manufactures use pleated filters of a max rating of MERV 8 on new fan coil systems. Although you can also use Filter Up to MERV 11 – 13, it will increase stress on the motors, reduces airflow and ultimately impacts your fan coil performance and increases noise levels.

UNILUX Model Filter Size

  • DLE 350 CFM 13.5 X 20
  • DLE 450 CFM 13.5 X 20
  • DLE 600 CFM  13.5 X 20
  • DLE 800 CFM 17.5 X 20
  • DLE 1000 CFM 17.5 X 20
  • DLE 1200 CFM 17.5 X 20

Vertical Heat Pump Filter Sizes

Changing condo heat pump air filters is highly recommended to assure the unit air coil remains free of dust and other materials. Upgrading the filter to a higher efficiency level (MERV Rating) will provide more filtration of particles in the air and will result in longer life of the heat pump and a cleaner environment. 

Whalen Heat Pump Units Use The Following Filters:

  • Model Size: 200, 300, 400, 600, 8001 Use 13.5 x 32 x 1/2 1) For units manufactured 1973 to 1982
  • Model Size: 200, 300, & 400 Use13 x 24 x 1/2 2) For units manufactured 1982 to 1992
  • Model Size: 200, 300, & 400 Use 13 x 24 x 1 3) For units manufactured 1993 to present
  • Model Size: 600 & 8004 Use 13 x 32 x 1/2 4) For units manufactured 1982 to 1992
  • Model Size: 600 & 8005 Use 15 x 28 x 1 5) For units manufactured 1993 to present
  • Model Size: 1000 & 1200 Use 17 x 32 x 1/2 6) For units manufactured 1990 to 1992 1001 7 17 x 32 x 1

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