Your furnace is an important part of ensuring your home remains a comfortable and healthy environment. Furnace filters may not seem like a big part of that equation due to their simplicity, but in fact they are. One of the easiest ways to avoid problems with your furnace is to ensure that you change your furnace filter regularly.
An Overview of Furnace Filters
Every furnace has a filter, and if one doesn’t then it has some sort of other filtering system for the air that passes through it. Furnace filters ensure that dust, hair, and other airborne particles that are sucked in by your HVAC systems intake aren’t redistributed throughout your home via the vents. All air that gets sucked into your HVAC system passes through the furnace filter prior to being heated or cooled and sent back out into your home or office.
Types of Furnace Filters
There are three common types of furnace filters available and used in different furnace models. There are the cheap fibreglass furnace filters, pleated furnace filters, and reusable furnace filters. Each type of filter has its own pros and cons that can help homeowners decide which type is best for their purposes.
Fibreglass Furnace Filters
Fibreglass furnace filters are the cheapest filters on the market. They’re disposable and as a result typically need replacing more often than any other type of filter. At Novel Care we recommend replacing these types of furnace filters at least every 90 days or when you notice that they’re clogged and affecting the efficiency of your HVAC system. Fibreglass filters come in a variety of different sizes that can suit just about any furnace, but also have a lower filter rating.
Pleated Furnace Filters
These are the most common types of filters. They vary in price from between $12 to $50 depending on their size and quality. Pleated furnace filters are typically made from paper and polyester and should also be changed about every 90 days but can be left longer if the air quality isn’t bad or they aren’t clogged with dust. If you’re looking for a balance between cost and good quality air filtering these are the best option.
Reusable Furnace Filters
These are more expensive than fibreglass or pleated furnace filters and can last for many years with proper care and cleaning. They’re typically made from plastic and aluminum, and the filter itself can be washed and vacuumed when it’s time for cleaning. While these are the most expensive options they come in a wide range of prices depending on the filter ratings, but they’re generally accepted as the best filters on the market.
Understanding Filter Ratings
Furnace filters are rated on the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) scale. This scale ranges between 1 and 16 with 16 being the best rating possible. Most filters that you would want in your home are rated between 8 and 11. If you have someone with respiratory issues or allergies then finding a filter with a rating higher than 11 or 12 is ideal. Filters with high ratings are also useful if someone in your home smokes as they are better at filtering the air of smoke and related smells.
You might be thinking that it makes sense to only purchase filters that are rated 16 because they’ll provide the best indoor air quality, which is true but the might the MERV rating the slower air passes through the filter. The downside to impeding the flow of air is that it can directly affect the efficiency of your HVAC system and slightly increase your energy bills. This is because your HVAC appliances have to work harder to force air through the filters and spread it throughout your home.
Overall, furnace filters are an important part of your HVAC system and ensuring that the indoor air quality of your home is at its best. Regardless of the filter that you choose it will eventually need to be replaced, so taking a look once a month to see if it needs cleaning or replacing is ideal. Regularly changing your furnace filter also ensure that the efficiency of your system isn’t compromised by a clogged filter.
For more information about furnace filters contact Novel Care today: 416-921-0000. Novel Care has been providing reputable and professional HVAC services to customers in Toronto, York Region and the rest of the GTA for over 35 years.