Choosing the right filter furnace is crucial in improving your home’s indoor air quality. Quality furnace filters also play a vital role in prolonging the life of your heating and cooling system while reducing energy bills. Here are four factors you should consider when buying furnace filters.

1. Efficiency

To determine the efficiency of a unit before purchasing, you should consider the MERV filter ratings. Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) measures how well air flows through the unit, how efficiently it filters particles from the air, and how long the filter should last. The higher the MERV ratings, the more efficient it is likely to be. However, a filter with the highest MERV rating can result in increased energy bills as it restricts airflow, making your furnace work twice as hard. Ensure that you purchase a filter with a MERV rating that helps you strike a balance between air purification, energy efficiency, and airflow.

2. Size

Furnace filters come in different sizes. You should choose the right filter size for your furnace to prevent dust, dirt, and debris from slipping into the stove, as this could result in increased energy bills. To determine the correct filter size for your system, you should check the side of the door of your filter’s cabinet. You could also carry your old filter with you to avoid choosing the wrong filter size when purchasing a new one.

3. Type

Furnace filters come in different types. You should be keen when choosing the type of filter you want to install in your furnace as it affects the system’s performance and lifespan. The different types of furnace filters include;

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a) Fiberglass filters

These are made from spun fiberglass and are cheap and disposable. They are perfect for preventing larger particles from getting into your heat exchanger. However, if you want to improve your indoor quality, fiberglass filters are not your best choice.

b) Carbon filters

These furnace filters use charcoal or carbon to clean the air through the adsorption process. The carbon filters are excellent at trapping VOCs and other gases, so they help improve your indoor quality. However, they may not trap smaller particles, including dust and bacteria. It is also difficult to tell when to replace the filter since you will not see visible dirt on the unit.

c) Pleated filters

Pleated furnace filters are made from cotton or polyester. These filters are made with pleats to provide a larger surface area for maximum air filtration. Pleated filters can trap contaminants as small as 0.3 microns, including viruses and bacteria, without compromising airflow within the unit. However, they are more costly than fiberglass filters.

d) Electrostatic filters

These furnace filters, made from polyester or cotton,  use self-charging fibers to trap contaminants out of the air. They can either be disposable or washable, depending on your furnace. While electrostatic filters trap small particles such as dust, they reduce airflow, which strains the HVAC. Electrostatic filters are also more expensive and require more maintenance.

4. Cost

While you should not base the choice of an ideal furnace filter solely on price, ensure that you purchase a furnace filter that you can afford to install and maintain.

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Furnace filters are crucial in sustaining a clean and healthy home environment. Consider the above factors to choose the right filter for your heating and cooling system.