There are more choices than ever when choosing a furnace air filter for your home. How do you know what is the best furnace filter for you?
Furnace Filter Purpose
It can help to have a basic understanding of the purpose of an air filter. A furnace air filter should remove larger particulate matter from the air flowing into your furnace, keeping it from accumulating in your HVAC system and being redistributed into your home. It also should facilitate proper airflow through your HVAC system and into your home. It seems simple enough, so why the confusion?
The sheer number of choices in furnace filters complicates the matter for many. Today’s furnace filters range from just a few dollars up to $50 or more. Some feel that more expensive filters must be better. That is simply not the case. Some consumers are impacted by the clever marketing of some companies producing filters that promise fresher, cleaner, healthier air. The challenge is that some of these filters restrict airflow to the point of causing inefficiencies, potentially overworking your furnace and perhaps even causing mechanical problems.
Standard Air Filter, the Best?
So what’s a homeowner to do? The reality is for the vast majority, the inexpensive, fiberglass, disposable furnace filters will perform fine, especially when replaced frequently. These filters range from 1-4 on the MERV scale, removing 80% of the particles that are 50 microns and larger while collecting 25% of the particles within the 3 to 10-micron range. Pleated filters may improve filtration by 15-20% over the spun fiberglass variety but they can cost four to five times as much and inhibit airflow.
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What about Air Filters and Allergies?
Now, if someone in your family suffers from severe allergies or is sensitive to dust, you may want a filter that can remove smaller particles without negatively impacting airflow. At Althoff Industries, we offer such filters that can be compatible with your system. These thicker air filters we recommend will upgrade your indoor air quality, while minimizing negative impact on air flow. Our professionals will measure the airflow to ensure your equipment is being protected while improving filtration. This is not something you should guess at on your own, however.
It’s a Balancing Act
The appropriate air filter strikes the balance between protecting equipment, facilitating airflow, and keeping your indoor air quality in check. Keep in mind, the main function of your furnace is to heat your home, not clean the air. Asking it to perform the added task of an air cleaner with an inappropriate filter may ultimately cause mechanical issues.
If you have questions on how to improve your indoor air quality without damaging your HVAC system or would like to schedule a thorough clean and check of your system for the winter, contact the professionals at Althoff Industries.