What You Need to Know About Your Furnace Filters

We’ve said it a thousand times, but we’ll say it again — your furnace filters play a huge role in how well your furnace functions and how clean the air in your home is. If that doesn’t make you think about them more often, think about this — if you don’t take care of the filters, your home could be a solid 40° by tomorrow morning. Wondering how? We’ll tell you — here’s what you need to know about your furnace filters.

How Your Filter Works:

The filter’s main job is to keep debris out of your furnace’s blower fan. In doing this, it also keeps mold spores, dust, and other allergy-inducing particles from recirculating in your home’s air, helping give you and your family better air quality. (However, the best way to ensure good indoor air quality is by installing air purifiers.)

How to Choose the Right Filter

There are a few things to consider when shopping for a filter:

  • The Type: There are several types of filters you can choose from.
    • Disposable Pleated: These are made of paper and polyester, cost around $30-$40, and should be changed every 90 days.
    • Disposable Fiberglass: These filters are the cheapest ones you can buy. Since they’re thinner, they need to be replaced more often.
    • Permanent Reusable Filters: These are made from either solid aluminum or plastic and should be cleaned with a vacuum or water every 90 days.
    • Electrostatic Filters: Disposable and washable filters come in electrostatic versions that catch more particles as air passes through them, making them a good choice for homes with pets or smokers.
  • The Size: Filters are sized by thickness, height, and length, giving you a variety of options to choose from. To know which size your furnace needs, check the frame of your older filter — the size should be written there.

Understanding MERV Ratings

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This rating measures how efficiently a certain filter captures particles of specific sizes that pass through it. Below is a chart from hvac.com that explains what each rating means.

When it comes to keeping your furnace filters clean and your furnace working well, you can trust the experts at Air Treatment Company! Since 1958, we’ve enjoyed providing comfort and improving indoor air quality to Northern Virginia homeowners, and we take pride in offering top-notch service and quality work at a fair price. For more information or to schedule a service, call us at (703) 270-0881.

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