What Kind of Furnace Filter Should I Use?
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What Kind of Furnace Filter Should I Use?

Choosing a Furnace Air Filter

When it comes to home maintenance projects nothing could be easier than changing your furnace air filter. Replacing the furnace filter on a regular basis helps keep your heating system and air ducts clean, improving the air quality in your home. It can also extend the lifespan of your furnace and air conditioner by reducing the amount of dirt and debris that accumulates on the motor and electronic components. A clean air filter also creates less airflow resistance, allowing the blower motor to work more efficiently, saving energy.

What’s the Best Kind of Furnace Filter?

There are three common filter types. The first kind is a disposable fiberglass filter. These have been around for decades and are usually the least expensive. Fiberglass filters will prevent the largest particles of dirt, lint and other debris from entering the furnace. However, smaller particulates such as mold and pollen will pass right through and will end up circulating throughout your home’s duct work.

The second type of furnace filter is the disposable pleated filter made from cotton or polyester fibers. These are much better than fiberglass filters at removing small airborne particles . However, they typically need to be changed more often because they trap finer particles of dirt, clogging the filter quicker and reducing air flow.

The third kind of filter is a polarized media air cleaner, also called an electronic air cleaner. This kind of filter uses an electronically charged surface that makes the finest particles cling to the filter surface. Smaller particles like pollen, pet dander and fine dust that would pass right through fiberglass and paper filters are effectively trapped. This type of filter can function as a whole-house air cleaner. While it’s more expensive than a fiberglass or pleated filter, in most cases a polarized media filter can be cleaned multiple times before needing to be replaced, which can reduce the cost over time.

If you or someone in your household suffers from allergies, or has breathing problems, polarized filters and HEPA-rated air filters are the best option for removing allergens from the air.

Selecting the right filter will depend on your furnace and your unique needs. If you would like more information on selecting the right filter for your home, give Hickey Plumbing, Air & Electrical a call, and we’ll be happy to help answer your heating and cooling questions.