Spotlight on Furnace Filters

July 25, 2023

One of the most basic steps involved in HVAC maintenance is regular replacement of your furnace filter. This single component plays a vital role in your home’s indoor air quality, as well as the efficiency and longevity of both your furnace and air conditioner. There are a variety of furnace filters available to enhance the efficiency of your HVAC system and improve the quality of your indoor air. If you have questions about changing, replacing, or upgrading your furnace filter, talk to your local HVAC expert for more information.

Changing Your Furnace Filter

As your furnace filter removes particles from the air, it will become dirty over time. This accumulation of dirt and dust causes the filter itself to become less efficient at screening out further particles and allowing clean air to pass through. A dirty furnace filter can effectively begin to “choke” your HVAC system, making it work harder to pull in air for heating or cooling. This is why changing your furnace filter regularly is essential to good indoor air quality and HVAC system longevity. Most furnace filters should be changed every 30 days. Some furnace filters can be left in place for up to 90 days before needing replacement, so check the packaging on your new filter to determine when you should change it. When replacing your furnace filter, make sure it is oriented with the arrow on the filter pointing in the direction of airflow in your system. If you aren’t sure, check the orientation of your previous filter before removing it.

Furnace Filter Options

There are many different types of furnace filters available. Furnace filters are given a MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values) rating that ranges from one to twenty. The higher a filter’s MERV rating, the smaller the size of particles it will capture. The most basic replaceable filters are made from fiberglass; these filters only remove large particles of dust and lint from the air and typically have a MERV rating of two to three. Although these filters are inexpensive, they will not do much to improve your indoor air quality. Pleated filters have a MERV rating of six; these filters cost slightly more, but will have a beneficial effect on your indoor air quality by removing smaller particles of dust and pollen. Electrostatic filters have charged fibers that help to attract dust and other airborne particles to the filter, making it even more effective. These filters have a typical MERV rating of ten. If the idea of removing and replacing an air filter regularly isn’t an appealing one, there are permanent furnace filter options available. Permanent filters are washable and can be reused consistently for up to eight years. Before upgrading to any new kind of furnace filter, however, it’s best to discuss the change with an HVAC expert. Because switching to a filter with a higher MERV rating can restrict airflow through your system, adjustments may be required to prevent long-term wear on your air handler’s motor.

Your CWA service technician can help you make the right choice when it comes to installing an efficient and effective furnace filter for your home. Check us out on the web for more information about furnace and air conditioning maintenance in Columbus, or read through our blog for the latest HVAC information and tips.

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Last Updated: July 25, 2023