The right furnace filter should protect the components of your heating and cooling system while improving indoor air quality. Installing a filter of the same size is important, but other qualities also need to be considered when choosing a furnace filter.
The minimum efficiency reporting value or MERV is the industry standard for measuring a filter’s ability to capture air particles. The rating scale runs from 1 to 20 with the higher numbers being more efficient at trapping particles. There are several types of furnace filters available at home improvement centers.
Types of Filters
- Disposable fiberglass filters – This filter is constructed in a flat panel design. The primary function is to protect heating and cooling system components. There is little improvement to indoor air quality. Small pollutants are able to pass through and enter your air circulation. The MERV rating is 1-4.
- Disposable pleated filters – A folded design gives pleated filters a larger surface area to capture all sizes of air particles. Air quality is significantly improved and system components are protected. Regularly changing the filter is important to ensure that airflow is not reduced as pollutants are collected quickly.The MERV rating is 13-16.
- Washable filters – Extensive maintenance is necessary to maintain the efficiency of these filters. If installed while still damp, mold formation is possible. Keeping a spare filter helps control the maintenance time. Not a popular filter with homeowners, the MERV rating is 1-4.
- High efficiency filters – Constructed from dense filter material, these filters have superior filtering ability. Due to the extreme nature of high efficiency filters, airflow through the system can become restricted. A homeowner with special air quality concerns can benefit from this filter. The MERV rating is 13-16.
The manufacturers’ instructions will help you locate the filter and recommend how often to have a system inspection. Most manufacturers provide tips on filters and other information specific to you furnace.
Please contact Aladdin Heating and Cooling with any concerns regarding purchasing the right furnace filter. We have been proudly serving Birmingham, Bloomfield Township and the surrounding areas since 1945.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Warren, Michigan about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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