HVAC System

Furnace Filters: Which one should you buy?

HVAC ANCHORAGE

You’re standing in front of all the furnace filters at the store what you thought was an easy task has left you with questions. You start looking for the furnace filter size you need but now have questions about what brand to buy. Then you start looking at filter thickness, what type of filter, and what price point. How do you know what furnace filter to buy? Don’t worry you’re not alone. 

Honeywell, 3M, Lennox, etc,.. all familiar names, so which one do you get? Each furnace filter offers something a little different, and all of those differences can help improve or change the air quality that your furnace blows through your house. Here is some advice to help you feel confident when it comes time for you to pick up a new furnace filter. 

Furnace Filters: brands & types:

FILTER SIZE [Dimensions]: Every furnace manual comes with the filter dimensions your furnace will need. Double-check your filter size, as they vary, furnace to furnace. Your furnace filter cabinet is the chamber located between the return air and supply air sections of your furnace. Your furnace filter must fit snuggly in your furnace. Any loose gaps will allow unfiltered air to get to your blower fan. 

FILTER THICKNESS [Thickness]: The thickness of your furnace filter can range from 1″ to 5″. As a general rule of thumb, a thicker furnace filter will last longer and be more efficient. However, these filters often come with a higher price tag. We suggest a thicker filter for those with furry pets in the house, but only when your furnace allows. The average furnace filter thickness we see used is 2”-3”. Consult your HVAC Specialist to determine the thickness of the filter that you can use.

FILTER PRICE: Furnace filters come at all prices. Pricing doesn’t always seem to reflect quality. Overall, if price dictates your purchase, make sure you are changing your furnace filters regularly if you choose a budget-friendly option. Otherwise, think about your home and consider furnace filter types based on your living atmosphere.

FILTER TYPE: 

Basic Filters: Help capture the dust, lint, hair, and debris from getting into your blower fan. These filters offer the first line of defense for furnace maintenance. 

Allergen Filters: Help capture dust and lint, airborne dust mite debris, pollen, pet dander, mold spores, bacteria, microscopic allergens, and most smoke. Allergen Furnace Filters help provides cleaner air quality as it circulates through your home. 

Odor Reduction Filters: Helps neutralizes common household odors by eliminating offensive odors and reducing harmful allergens, dust, mold spores, and more. This furnace filter option is for those who smoke or cook greasy foods in their home. 

Filter Rating: [MERV] It is wise to understand MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) ratings when buying your furnace filters. You will see ratings range from a low of 1 to a high of 20. The lower the MERV rating, the less protection you will get from your furnace filter. On the contrary, the higher the rating, the more particles the filter can remove. However, this also allows less airflow, which can cause an issue with your furnace. According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, air furnace filters with a MERV between 7 and 13 will be adequate for most homes.

Filters

We suggest you check your furnace manual or get advice from your HVAC Specialist to see what MERV rated furnace filter will work best with your heating unit.

Remember that when changed and maintained regularly, furnace filters can extend the life of your heating system. They can also help keep maintenance costs down.

The primary purpose of a furnace filter is to protect HVAC equipment, with the added benefit of improving indoor air quality. Regular duct cleaning also plays a critical role in your furnace and home air quality.

If you are looking to significantly improve indoor air quality talk to us about a quote for installing an air cleaning and filtration system. Always on Call, Mountain Mechanical, Call us Today!

Furnace Filters: The Ultimate HVAC Equipment Defender.

Furnace Filters. What you need to know about the filter in your heating unit.

Homeowners often believe that the furnace filter’s primary job is to clean the air in your home.

Your furnace filters will help aid in improving air quality, by remove particulates and contaminants from the recirculated air, but their main purpose is to protect blowers and other internal components from damaging build-up.

Furnace FiltersFurnace filters keep your HVAC system clean and efficient by removing dust, dirt, hair, and other particles from being pulled into the blower from the return air ducts. This makes them the ultimate HVAC equipment defender.

One way to prevent your heating system from becoming bogged down is by scheduling regular filter checks.

Pay attention to the furnace filters you are buying and understand the recommended duration of use for the filters you choose. Buying the correct size for your furnace ensures that you are maximizing filtration in your heating system.

CHECKING YOUR FURNACE FILTER

KNOW YOUR FILTER: The two most common variations of furnace filters are pleated filters and semi-permanent reusable/washable filters. Knowing which filter is in your furnace is the first step.

Pleated disposable filters are the most common, with various sizes and types available at local stores like Fred Meyers, Target, Home Depot, Etc.

CORRECTLY INSTALLED: Dirty or soiled filters and incorrectly installed filters have a lot in common. They can both add more resistance to airflow, which makes the system work harder, become less efficient, and in turn more expensive to operate.

Always make sure your furnace filters are correctly installed. The chamber that houses your filter is between the return air section and a supply air section of your furnace, and there is usually a panel where your furnace filter can be easily accessed.

CHECK FOR EXCESSIVE DEBRIS & REPLACING WHEN NEEDED: In between replacing your furnace filters, we suggest regular filter checkups. Pulling out your filters regularly, to see how dirty they are, can help you get an idea of how often they need to be changed.

While checking the filters you can remove any chunks of debris, hair, or dust balls that you may find loose in the compartment and/or on the filters.

You will want to replace your filters primarily based on how quickly they get dirty or at least based on what the packaging recommends; 30 days, 90 days, etc. However, if your furnace filter appears full of dust and debris at the time of checking, it is recommended to replace your filter.

Furnace Filter

You may find they get dirty faster during the colder months, requiring more frequent changing or cleaning, due to the furnace running and cycling heat more frequently.

Older homes and homes with pets generally require the filters to be changed or cleaned more frequently.

When changed and maintained regularly, filters can extend the life of your heating system. They can also help keep maintenance costs down.

The primary purpose of a furnace filter is to protect HVAC equipment, with the added benefit of improving indoor air quality. Regular duct cleaning also plays an important role in furnace lifespan and home air quality.

Read our blog about the benefits of duct cleaning, when to get it done, and why it’s important to your heating system and household air quality.

If you are looking to significantly improve indoor air quality, talk to us about a quote for installing an air cleaning and filtration systems.

If you are experiencing allergies while inside your home, air cleaning and filtration systems might offer you some relief.

We service homes in Anchorage and Eagle River, Alaska. If you have any HVAC, heating, or plumbing questions, don’t hesitate to call.

Always on Call, Mountain Mechanical, Call us Today! 907-344-0700.

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