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5 Things You Should Know About Furnace Filters

furnace filters

Despite what many believe, a furnace filter doesn’t necessarily clean all the air in your home. Filters protect your furnace’s blower fan, preventing dirt and debris from passing through. In turn, this process improves the overall air quality in your home.

So what else might you need to know about furnace filters? Here’s everything you need to know about the air filter types and the function they serve for your home.

Types of Furnace Filters

Below you’ll find the different types of filters you can use for your furnace.

Disposable Filters

These filters are an economical option. They are designed to capture large dust and debris particles. But if you have allergies or asthma you might need an option that removes much smaller particles as well. This option is ideal for short-term accommodation or renters.

Disposable Electrostatic

Electrostatic filters cost more than their fibreglass counterparts. However, this filter is more effective at trapping smaller particles. A disposable electrostatic filter will provide your furnace with more protection in the long run. Smokers or people with pets or children should consider investing in this added protection.

Disposable Pleated

Pleated air filters are a popular choice because they keep out extremely small living organisms, such as spores and mites, at a relatively inexpensive cost. Although they are made from polyester or cotton, disposable pleated filters can be manufactured using green materials. On the other hand, these models require more regular replacement. Keep in mind, when a pleated filter is left unattended for too long it may cause damage to your HVAC system.

Permanent Electrostatic

This furnace filter has the advantage of lasting 6-8 years. Rather than replacing it with a new one, you can simply pop it out of the furnace and into a washing machine for easy maintenance. This reduces a lot of environmental waste that you normally see with other filters. If your furnace is a standard size it should be no problem finding a permanent electrostatic filter to match. Custom sizes can be more expensive. These filters pick out all particles and allergens, but less effectively than their disposable electrostatic counterparts.

High-Efficiency Pleated

High-efficiency pleated furnace filters are the best at improving air quality. So much so that hospitals use them. Installing them at home can be tricky because their thick dimension means they may not fit all furnaces. They also come with a higher maintenance cost. Anyone with respiratory or autoimmune issues might consider this a worthwhile trade-off for more breathable air.

Rating Furnace Filters

All filters come with a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating. The scale plots filter from 1 to 16 based on the effectiveness of the particles they remove from the air. Here’s are the average MERV ratings for each type of furnace air filter:

    1.  Disposable Fibreglass              2-3 MERV rating
    2.  Disposable Electrostatic           6 MERV rating
    3.  Disposable Pleated                   10 MERV rating
    4.  Permanent Electrostatic           8 MERV rating
    5. High-Efficiency Pleated             14-16 MERV rating

Be aware that choosing an air filter with the highest MERV rating doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best option. A higher rating puts more stress on your furnace, which can make it less efficient. Make sure to check your furnace’s product manual to select a filter that works best with your HVAC system.

Contact Aire One

If you need help finding the best furnace filter for your home, contact our team at Aire One Heating & Cooling. We can help you replace your furnace or upgrade to a furnace that can work with a higher MERV rating.


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