In an age of smart thermostats, zoned temperature control, and high-efficiency
furnaces, the humble filter is given short shrift. But make no mistake,
the air filter is a powerful player in the performance of your HVAC system and
indoor air quality. So give the filter its due consideration and choose your next replacement wisely.
Here’s a rundown of the different types of filters on the market
so you can pick the best one for your home and budget. Note: Each will
MERV rating. That’s the minimum efficiency rating value. It ranges from 1 to
20. The more efficient the filter is at trapping particles, the higher its MERV.
The Different Types of Furnace Filters
Disposable fiberglass: (MERV: 2 to 3. Cost: $2 or less) Cheap, marginally effective, these replacement
filters comprise of 1-inch-thick spun fiberglass. Their primary function
is to prevent dust and debris from gumming up the works inside your HVAC
system. They won’t much improve your indoor air quality.
Disposable pleated: (MERV: 6. Cost: $4-5) The cotton paper or polyester in this filter catches
smaller particles such as spores and mites. And because it’s pleated
like an accordion, the material has a larger surface area to trap more
stuff. That means you might be able to go longer between replacements.
Electrostatic: (MERV: 8. Cost: $50 and up) Yes, pricey, but you’ll never need to
replace it. That’s because you can wash an electrostatic filter.
This filter uses static electricity to attract airborne contaminants.
For allergy sufferers, this may bring you relief.
High-efficiency pleated: (MERV: 14-16. Cost: $100) Unless you live in a hospital, this option is
likely overkill. Your HVAC system will have to work harder to push air
through the deep synthetic cotton. While your air will be nearly pristine,
your central air system will suffer.
Combine Your Furnace Filter with a UV Air Scrubber
The right air filter, in combination with an
ultraviolet air scrubber, create cleaner, healthier air, eliminate odors, and reduce the number
of times you need to dust your home. Our
heating experts can recommend solutions to improve your indoor air quality. To schedule
an appointment with Tom’s Mechanical, call 972-388-3669.