Furnace Filter 101
- Mar 30, 2017 /
- BY Admin /
- 0 COMMENTS
Any HVAC expert will tell you how important it is to replace your furnace filter, but there’s a lot more about filters that the average homeowner or tenant may not know. Let’s look into the specifics of how they keep your furnace running smoothly.
What They Do and Why
Air from the outside isn’t exactly pristine, so when your furnace brings air into the cold air return, a few unwelcome materials are bound to tag along. This is where the filter works its magic. Filter types vary, but they all carry out basically the same job: their fibres grab hold of particulate and allow air to pass through safely. The intended result of this process is partially the preservation of air quality, but its number-one purpose in terms of the system itself is to keep internal components like your blower clean and healthy. The dirtier the blower, the less efficient your system will be and the more it will cost you in the long term.
Types and Materials
Depending on the system they are being used for and the budget of the owner, a range of filter types are available. Their primary differences lie in what they are made of and how they’re maintained. Common materials are pleated paper and polyester or fibreglass. Some are disposable, while others can be washed for reuse. Electrostatic filters are similar in material to standard ones but carry one notable difference: they’re charged with static electricity, an upgrade meant to enhance their ability to catch especially small particulate and things like pet hair. You’ll also see plenty of variation in size and thickness in accordance with the type of system each one is meant for.
Choosing the Right Filter
Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) indicates the effectiveness with which a filter removes varying kinds of particulate from incoming air. Generally speaking, a higher MERV rating will indicate a better filter. However, going too high could be an unnecessary and costly expenditure unless certain considerations are required for the occupants in your home, such as allergies and asthma. Naturally, cheap disposable filters will offer inferior performance, so when it comes to finding a balance between budget, quality, and the specifications of your system, ask your local HVAC specialist for recommendations!
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