This paper presents a single-phase asymmetric half-bridge cascaded multilevel inverter based series active power filter (SAPF) for harmonic voltage compensation. The effect of level number on performance of the proposed SAPF is examined in terms of total harmonic distortion (THD) and system efficiency. Besides, the relationship between the level number and the number of switching device are compared with the other multilevel inverter topologies used in APF applications. The paper is also aimed to demonstrate the capability of the SAPF for compensating harmonic voltages alone, without using a passive power filter (PPF). To obtain the required output voltage, a new switching algorithm is developed. The proposed SAPF with levels of 7, 15 and 31 is used in both simulation and experimental studies and the harmonic voltages of the load connected to the point of common coupling (PCC) is compensated under two different loading conditions. Furthermore, very high system efficiency values such as 98.74% and 96.84% are measured in the experimental studies and all THD values are brought into compliance with the IEEE-519 Standard. As a result, by increasing the level number of the inverter, lower THD values can be obtained even under high harmonic distortion levels while system efficiency almost remains the same.