Shopping for a Furnace Filter: Choose Carefully

Shopping for a Furnace Filter: Choose Carefully

Winter in Monmouth County is long and frigid, and maintaining your furnace is essential for efficiency, savings and your health. Aside from annual preventive maintenance, the best way to ensure your furnace operates efficiently all winter long is to replace the dirty furnace filter with a clean one as soon as it’s full of dust. A dirty filter restricts airflow and makes your system work harder to compensate. It also allows dust to enter the system and coat essential components, which can result in their premature failure. This fall, stock up on furnace filters so that they’re accessible when you need a filter change.

Choosing a Furnace Filter

Air filters are rated on the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV, scale. MERV tells you what percentage of certain-sized particles the filter will trap. Choosing one that traps more smaller particles will help prevent allergy and asthma symptoms, as well as keep the interior of your furnace squeaky clean.

  • MERV 1 to 4 filters are flat and of poor quality, and they do little more than minimally protect your system against large particles. These cheap filters trap only 20 percent of particles bigger than 10 microns, such as dust mites and pollen. It’s best to avoid these filters altogether.
  • MERV 5 to 8 are good quality filters that trap up to 85 percent of particles between 3 and 10 microns, including mold spores and cement dust. Unless someone in your home suffers from allergies, asthma or other respiratory illnesses, a filter in this range is sufficient for protecting your system and your air quality.
  • MERV 9 to 12 filters are of superior quality. They trap at least 85 percent of particles 3 to 10 microns in size and up to 89 percent of particles of one to three microns, such as humidifier and lead dust.

Check the specs of your system before upgrading your furnace filter. It’s essential to balance air cleaning qualities with airflow for the best results.

For more expert tips for choosing a furnace filter, please contact us in the Monmouth County area at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors, Inc.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Pelfophoto/Shutterstock”

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