HVAC Shopping 101: Tips for Comparing Furnace Filters
Modern heating and cooling systems require filter changes on a regular basis. This serves two functions — it keeps dust and other pollutants out of your air, as well as out of your system. In other words, a clean furnace filter can improve your home’s indoor air quality, while also extending the life of your HVAC system.
There are a lot of options when it comes to choosing filters, and not all do the job equally well. When comparing furnace filters, you have to be mindful of certain factors, which are highlighted below.
Different Filter Options
- Electrostatic filters that can attract dust from the air with an electronic charge.
- Pleated filters provide two to four times the surface area than flat filters. This increased surface area lets them catch more dust.
- Filters that contain activated carbon can control odors in your home, as well as dust.
The Needs of Your Household
Most filters can remove dust from the air, but specialized filters can also remove other types of pollutants. For example, higher quality filters can remove cigarette smoke and seasonal allergens that wouldn’t be removed by standard furnace filters.
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV)
MERV rating enables you to choose your furnace filter based on the size of the particles it’s able to catch. The higher the filter’s MERV rating, the more efficient it is. For example, most basic spun filters have a MERV rating of 4, while high quality electrostatic filters can have MERV ratings as high as 12. Note that while a more efficient filter can better clean your air, it can also reduce your furnace’s efficiency. Follow the guidelines provided by your furnace’s manufacturer.
Comparing furnace filters doesn’t have to be a confusing task. If you need more advice on finding the best furnace filter for your home, contact our HVAC experts at Beyer Boys. We’ve been making San Antonio and South Texas homes more comfortable since 1990.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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