Furnace Filters and Air Conditioning filters are an often overlooked part of keeping allergens out of your home. Furnace filters clean the air in your home reducing the allergens and pollutants you and your family breathe in. HEPA air purifier are a great choice for removing harmful particles from rooms and areas within your homes, but furnace filters and air conditioning filters are a highly effective option for cleaning the air getting into your home.
What is the difference between a furnace filter and an air conditioning filter?
They are the same thing, it’s just where you’re putting them. Many furnaces or boilers, don’t take filters because they don’t circulate air, a forced hot air heating system will have furnace filters you should regularly be changing.
What are some of the advantages of furnace filters?
Furnace filters help the air quality in a home and when properly maintained can effectively cut dust accumulation all while cutting your energy bill. Reducing the amount of dust that gets into your home makes cleaning a lot easier since carpets, draperies, walls, windows and upholstery will often stay cleaner longer.
What kind of air conditioner filters should I be looking for?
There are a lot of air conditioner filters on the market that do not do a good job filtering out particles from the air because they have a very low MERV rating. Unfortunately a lot of these poor functioning furnace filters with low MERV ratings are typically sold at home centers and hardware stores trapping very only tiny amounts of allergy particles in your home such as pollen, pet dander, mold, and lint. Some inexpensive disposable furnace filters can even damage your HVAC by restricting the air flow and forcing the whole system to work harder than necessary.
What is MERV?
MERV means minimum efficiency reporting value and is a rating system for furnace air filters. If you’re familiar with HEPA, it’s similar classification but for your air conditioner or furnace. MERV ratings are from 1 -20, 1 being the lowest and 20 being the highest. HEPA filters are used for smaller devices like air purifiers or vacuums, they’re a finer filter with more precise openings, and they can’t handle the volume that comes through a heating or cooling system. All home filters have a MERV rating and the higher the rating the more allergens the filter can take out.
How long do furnace filters typically last?
Most manufactures suggest changing your furnace filter or filter media about every 3 months. Even if they are permanent furnace filters they still need to be regularly checked and washed out.
What are the different types of furnace filters available?
Disposable Fiberglass Filters
Disposable Allergy Filters
Disposable Pleated Filters
Permanent Electrostatic Filters
What are the differences between the different types of air conditioning filters?
Disposable Fiberglass Filters – are often the cheapest option with typically the lowest MERV ratings. They don’t really offer any relief for allergy sufferers.
Disposable Allergy Filters – are a small step up in price but a big step in providing allergy relief with a decent MERV filtering. We have the SafeHome Duo furnace filters with a MERV 8 rating.
Disposable Pleated Filters – offer a larger jump in MERV rating and better allergy relief. Guardian Clean filters has a MERV rating of 12 and comes with year’s supply of changes.
Permanent electrostatic furnace filter – uses the natural friction of air flowing through the filter to create a static charge to attract and trap particles in the air. This type of filter can catch up to 80% of the harmful particles in your home resulting in cleaner air without using additional electricity. This isn’t the same mechanism as electronic air cleaners. Electric air cleaners are often criticized for producing harmful ozone emissions due to the high voltage of electricity they use. A great example of permanent furnace filters is the Air screen 1000 and Aircleen 1500 which have a MERV rating of around 16.
Keep in mind that a furnace filters can only do part of the job you need to purify the air in your house. An electrostatic furnace filter is not the most effective product for smoke removal either. It will not impact dust mites or cat allergies, for which you need a room HEPA filter. However, a good electrostatic furnace filter should be an essential part of your air-cleaning arsenal.