Can Air Filters Be Cut to Size?

Cut-to-size air filters offer the same advantages as regular air filters, with an additional benefit. Not only do they keep the air in your home clean, but they can also be cut into any size or shape you need. Some manufacturers can even customize filters to fit perfectly when you or your HVAC team put it all together. However, cutting an air filter can weaken its structural integrity and create air gaps, allowing contaminants to pass through.

This can cause dirt and debris to accumulate on the fan, slow down airflow, degrade performance, lower air quality, and create a mess that will need to be fixed or cleaned. If an air filter is too big, it's best to return it rather than cutting it down. Cutting charcoal to fit air filters on return grilles can help eliminate odors in your home. Simply open the air conditioner return grille on the window at the front and measure the filter slot to find the filter dimensions.

You may need to make a slightly larger filter if you use air filter installation tape to secure it. My favorite use case for cutting charcoal for air filters is in a window air conditioner that is located in a work area, such as a garage or workshop. In addition to eliminating odors, this material also traps large particles, extending the life of the HEPA filter. Most people won't be able to find the size of air filter they need at their local home improvement store. However, custom-made cut-to-size air filters are available from some manufacturers.

These are not imperfect filters that have been prefabricated and cut down; they are built from scratch to their exact dimensions. In conclusion, yes, you can cut an air filter, but it's best to do so with caution and only if you know what you're doing. If you need a custom-sized air filter, look for manufacturers who offer this service.

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