Choosing A Furnace Air Filter and How Often To Change Them

September 30, 2019

Choosing The Best Furnace Air Filter For Your Home 

All furnace systems require an adequate amount of airflow in order to properly circulate enough heat to warm each room in the home. The furnace filter plays a critical role in this, as it not only allows air to pass over the heating chamber, but it also keeps dust and mold from entering the living spaces of the house. Today, with so many different types of furnace air filters on the market, it can be confusing for homeowners to know which type is the right one to buy. 
 

Different Types Of Furnace Air Filters 

Here are just some of the various types of furnace air filters that are available to homeowners. 
 

Fiberglass Filters  

These types of filters are commonly used in home furnace systems and are generally the least expensive to buy. Produced from spun strands of fiberglass, these filters are good at capturing large particles in the air, including lint and dust. Fiberglass furnace filters can be very effective and are available in multi-unit packs, so homeowners can keep several on hand at all times. The one drawback to these filters is that they are not designed to purify the air coming into a home, as more expensive filters are able to do. 
 

Pleated Filters  

Pleated filters are an upgrade from the standard, fiberglass products that many homeowners use. These kinds of filters not only block dust and lint from coming into your home, but also certain allergens, such as dust mites and pet dander. Pleated filters come in either the disposable or washable variety. Because the fibers in a pleated filter are tighter than in its fiberglass counterpart, your furnace has to work harder to push air into the ventilation system. These filters will definitely improve your indoor air quality, but they make your furnace work harder, which can eventually lead to premature wear and loss of efficiency. If you are mostly concerned about the quality of your indoor air, pleated filters are a great choice.      
 

Electrostatic Filters  

Electrostatic filters are specially designed to prevent allergens from coming into the living spaces of a home. Created from a combination of cotton and paper, these filters produce a static charge, which captures even the smallest, airborne particles like a magnet. Homeowners can choose between the disposable or washable variety. These filters tend to be the most expensive, but if you are concerned about allergens causing problems for your family, the electrostatic option is a great idea.

Furnace Air Filter Sizes  

Furnace filters come in all different sizes and it is important for homeowners to buy the correct one for their heating equipment. If an installed filter is the wrong size, it can restrict proper airflow and even allow particles and allergens to enter the home’s vent system. 
 
There are many filter sizes, but here some of the most common ones. 
 
10 X 20
14 X 20
16 X 24
18 X 30
12 X 12
14 X 24
16 X 25
20 X 20

The instruction manual for your furnace will specify the proper filter size to use. This information is usually also displayed on a sticker attached to the side of the heating unit. 

How Often to Replace a Furnace Filter

Unfortunately, there is no single right answer for this question. Everything will depend on the type of filter you use and the conditions under which the furnace is operating. The less expensive, fiberglass filters should be changed about every 30 days, as they tend to be thinner by design. Higher quality filters can last between 3-6 months. However, if you have pets or smokers in your home, that time could be shortened dramatically. It never hurts to take a look at your furnace filters every month or two and if they are dirty, change them! 

Contact Us Today 

For over 20 years, the dedicated professionals at HomeServe of New England have been helping our loyal customers with all of the HVAC related needs. Whether you are in the market for HVAC repair, replacement or maintenance services, you can depend on us to be there. If you have a concern about your furnace filters, give us a call today and we will dispatch our friendly team out to take care of the issue right away. 

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