Is the filter rating important?
Yes! It is very important.
Usually, the OEM of the equipment specifies the filter rating (and even the filter material in some cases). These ratings help us to keep out particles of larger sizes that may cause damage to the equipment either through wear or clogging of fine clearances.
Some filters allow us to monitor the differential pressure. This is the pressure between the outside of the filters and inside and as this approaches the warning limits, we know that a filter change is needed in the near future.
However, there are times when there is no warning and the filter goes into bypass. When a filter goes into bypass, this means that the filter is no longer keeping back the larger particles. This can be catastrophic for the equipment as a higher concentration of contaminants can now enter the system and damage it.
It is common practice to change the oil filter when the oil is being changed. In some instance, (especially depending on the environment), OEMs recommend changing the oil filters twice or more before the actual oil change.
Always consult with your owner’s manual about the maintenance practices before adopting your own.