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Grand Lake Plumbing & Heating

Grand Lake Plumbing & Heating

Friday, 13 October 2023 20:45

5 Things to Know About Furnace Air Filters

replacing furnace filter

When it comes to maintaining a comfortable and healthy indoor environment, your furnace air filter plays an important role. Here ere are five essential things you need to know about furnace air filters to optimize HVAC performance and keep your air clean

The Importance of Regular Filter Replacement

Over time, furnace air filters collect dust, pollen, pet dander, and other airborne particles. As a result the filter will gradually become clogged, reducing airflow, and forcing your furnace to work harder. This will not only increase energy consumption, it can also lead to premature wear and tear on the internal parts of the furnace. Most experts recommend replacing disposable filters every 1-3 months, while washable filters should be cleaned on a similar schedule. Check with the filter manufacturer for the replacement interval for your filter.

Different Types of Filters

Furnace air filters come in various types, each with its own set of advantages:

  • Disposable Fiberglass Filters - These are the most common and are effective for blocking large dust particles. However, they might not be the best choice for filtering out smaller particles like pollen or mold spores.
  • Pleated Filters - Made from polyester or cotton paper, these filters can trap smaller particles and are more efficient than fiberglass filters.
  • HEPA Filters - High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters can capture at least 99.97% of particles 0.3 microns in diameter, making them ideal for households with allergy sufferers.
  • Washable Filters - These are reusable and can be a cost-effective choice in the long run, but they need regular cleaning to maintain efficiency.

Why MERV Ratings Matter

The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating indicates a filter's ability to capture and hold particles and pollutants. Ratings range from 1 (least efficient) to 20 (most efficient). For residential furnaces, a MERV rating between 8 and 11 is typically sufficient. However, if someone in the household has respiratory issues or allergies, consider a filter with a higher MERV rating.

Do Furnace Filters Improve Indoor Air Quality?

The main purpose of a furnace filter is to keep dirty air from damaging your heating system. However, a clean and efficient furnace air filter can improve indoor air quality. By trapping pollutants, it prevents them from recirculating in your home. This is especially crucial for households with pets or sources of indoor air pollution.

If you are concerned about particulate matter in your home, a quality HEPA filter or indoor air cleaner will do a better job of reducing the risk of respiratory issues and allergies caused by indoor air pollution.

Cost vs. Value

While it might be tempting to opt for the cheapest filter available, investing in a higher-quality HEPA filter can lead to energy savings, a longer-lasting furnace, and improved indoor air quality.

Furnace air filters are more than just a routine maintenance item; they're a crucial component in ensuring a healthy and comfortable living environment.

 

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