Choosing a New Furnace Filter

Choosing a New Furnace FilterSome homeowners don’t give their furnace filter much thought. Perhaps they change it now and then, but when they do, they opt for a lower-end filter because they’re cheap. The fact is, the quality of the air in your home can be affected by the quality of the air filter you choose. Maybe you should give it a little more thought.

Why Air Filters Matter

Air filters come in several guises, but the most common type is the cardboard-mounted filter made of fiberglass. These cheap filters do a minimal job of keeping airborne particulates such as dust, dirt, insect particles, pollen and pet dander out of the HVAC system. These filters should be changed at least once a month to maintain smooth airflow. A dirty filter can impede airflow, making the system work harder, and ultimately leading to parts failure and breakdown of the equipment before its time.

Why Better Air Filters Matter

The cheaper air filters described above do nothing for your indoor air quality. Move up to a better quality quilted filter made of denser polyester or cotton fibers, and you can trap common airborne pollutants more effectively, keeping them out of your home’s air supply.

Air filters are most commonly rated by a system call MERV, or minimum efficiency reporting value. The higher the MERV, the better the quality. For most residential HVAC systems, a MERV of 8-12 is just right. Some manufacturers have their own rating systems, but generally they are roughly equivalent to the MERV scale. You don’t want a filter rated higher than 12, as it would probably slow down airflow.

Other Types of Filters

Some homeowners opt for permanent, washable filters. If you choose this type, make sure it is dry before you put it back into the HVAC system.

Electrostatic filters are also available. These catch particles on a plate by means of an electrostatic charge. The plates should be cleaned periodically to work properly.

To learn more about how important a furnace filter is, contact CCAC of Corpus Christi. We are Constantly Concerned About Customers.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “lightspring/Pixabay”

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    David Mathewst David Mathews is the owner of CCAC Air Conditioning and Heating. A Corpus Christi native... More »