A furnace filter doesn't get a lot of attention as long as it’s keeping the air clean. However, to keep it working at maximum efficiency, there are a couple of techniques that should be followed. Following these methods will significantly increase its life. There are only two filters in your home, your furnace filter and your lungs. Make your filter bear most of the brunt of cleaning the air around you. Hopefully, this article will help you breathe a little better.
They come with certain ratings to make it simpler for the client to assess their quality and efficiency. These ratings help in finding what the best type is for your household.
What are Furnace Filter Ratings?
This is a handy way to compare the performance of air filters in ACs and other devices. The MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating of a filter is derived by a somewhat complicated test done by scientists. Let’s boil this down to what a MERV rating means to us. It tells us how efficient a filter is in removing tiny particles. It also tells us if the filter will promote good IAQ (Indoor Air Quality).
1 – 4: Minimum filtration. They do not promote IAQ. They are generally inexpensive.
5 – 8: Usually pleated. They trap smaller particles and promote IAQ.
9 – 12: Best for allergy sufferers as they remove microbes. Promote very good IAQ.
Above 12: Remove sub-micron particles. Promote great IAQ. They are very expensive.
The advised range for household use is from 5 to 12. The higher the number on the rating, the more efficient a filter is in removing toxins. However, it is important to note that a good filter which efficiently removes particulate matter will also restrict airflow. Ones with MERV ratings above 12 are typically used for commercial laboratories where the furnace can handle the resistance.
What are the Different Types of Furnace Filters available?
With any electronic or electrical goods, it is known that price increases with betterment of quality and performance. But the added cost of purchasing a good quality filter is cost saving in the long run; it will prevent hospital bills, medication expenses, and visits to the doctor’s office.
These are the best sort for individuals with a limited budget. You can buy one that suits your home furnace for only $2 - $5. Unfortunately, as we've discussed before, the lower cost of this filter implies lower working and ability. They normally have MERV ratings from 1 to 4. They sufficiently expel dust from the air. If you or the people in your family have hypersensitivities, these are not your best choice because they will not expel microbes and dust mites.
Pleated Allergy Filters
These have pleating that allows good airflow while sifting through microbes and dust. This is a standard filter that is made up of cotton and paper. If you are a person with a green thumb, you can rejoice because they are produced using environment-friendly materials. They are reasonably good at expelling some smaller particles like parasitic spores and bug residues.
They additionally have the normal property of expelling usually found average allergens and fine residue particles from your inside air. Luckily, this improvement in efficiency doesn't come with an added cost.
They go for somewhere in the range of $5 to $20 a piece. These work flawlessly for a solid three months before they should be replaced. If the people you live with have with sensitivities and respiratory issues, these are a must.
They typically have MERV ratings of somewhere in the range of 7 and 9. High-efficiency pleated filters: They are produced using 4 to 5 inch pleated manufactured cotton or polyester and are joined to a firm metal frame that helps stop spillage of particulate matter.
They remove even the smallest of particulate matter and are a requirement for those that happen to have respiratory issues, extreme sensitivities, or other immune system problems. These are most suitable for hospitals owing to their high performance and efficiency.
Activated Carbon Filters
These have an addition of activated carbon to a regular pleated allergy filter. This greatly helps eliminate odor. Pets, food, smoke, or alcohol smells can be eliminated with activated carbon. Activated carbon works by adsorbing odors onto its surface, hence removing them from the air.
They are a little more expensive than the regular pleated allergy filters. When you live in an area with lots of odors, these are worth the extra expense. They come with a MERV rating of around 8 which is perfect for a house heating system.
Washable Electrostatic Filters
These are not given MERV ratings. You should rely upon the manufacturer to give you exact data about their performance, life span, and quality. These are commonly very durable and can be washed with water and a hose. It works very well with ACs and other heat furnaces. They create a positive charge that makes the residue get stuck on to the media. They are usually quite expensive. However, considering the fact that they're permanent, the cost savings over the long years can be significant. They can be washed with a hose, allowed to dry and put back in the heater. You can buy one for $50 to $200.
In short, the term HEPA stands for 'High Efficiency Particulate Air'. What this basically means is that it is a special type of filter that captures microscopic particles. This leads to cleaner, fresher air for you to breathe. They are not only great for people with allergies and asthma but in general those who want healthier living and a cleaner home. The only drawback, they cannot capture viruses, odors, or chemical gases because they are too small to be trapped. Also, they come in various types. When shopping for an air cleaner, you'll find that there are mainly 4 types:
True HEPA —It captures 99.97% of particles. Can capture smaller than 2 microns.
The last 3 types can only capture 2 microns and larger. True HEPA is the best type. They are worth the money if having the cleanest air possible is your top concert. Medical clinics, hospitals, and research centers use them normally. They even suit college/school labs and LAFs.
What are the Most Common Furnace Filter Sizes?
There is an abundance of filter sizes available for different residences and offices. The common ones are:
10 X 20
16 X 24
18 X 30
12 X 12
14 X 24
16 X 25
20 X 20
12 X 20
14 X 25
18 X 18
20 X 24
12 X 24
20 X 25
12 X 30
15 X 20
18 X 24
20 X 30
12 X 36
16 X 20
18 X 25
4 X 24
25 X 25
The above sizes are in inches and have a depth range of 1 to 6 inches.
How Often Should a Furnace Filter be Replaced?
The air inside a residence in a major street is filled with particulate matter. Dust particles, spores, pollen, lint, pet dander, and germs float around in your inside air. When rugs and fabrics are vacuumed or cleaned, all of these particles are stirred up. Most filters need to be replaced every 3 months at least. Some of the filters mentioned in this article can be cleaned. It's always best to buy multiples as a time, so you can always have one at hand when you do a replacement. If you see that its surface is turning gray and concealed in dirty build-up and gunk, you should replace it.
Another frequently asked question in the filter business is “how can I replace my furnace filter by myself?” Well, it’s simple and harmless if you follow the right directions. Most furnace filters have a right direction and a wrong direction. Even putting it in the wrong way is better than not using one at all. Most of them have an arrow pointing how you should put it in. Follow this, and you will be just fine. Always remember that the arrow always points towards the furnace.
Where Can You Buy Furnace Filters Online?
If you’re trying to locate a furnace filter store in your area, instead of simply looking up ‘‘furnace filters near me,’’ it is easier and cost-saving to find the one you’re looking for on our website. You will find all the types mentioned in this article from top brands and sellers.