Buying air filters might seem like a simple task. Once you get into types, models and brands, however, you might realize that there’s more to the process than you originally thought. If you’re feeling confused and overwhelmed by all of your filter options, consider this your guide to making sense of the madness.

Purpose

First things first: Why are you buying air filters? There’s a big difference between industrial filters meant for a polluted workplace and simple residential filters that slide into a home air conditioner. Before you start getting into the little details of various filters, make sure that you understand your big-picture goals for your purchase.

Specs

The specifications of your air filters can have a big impact on your purchase. For example, you don’t want to buy something that’s the wrong size. You also don’t want to buy something that can’t filter what you need filtered. There …