How do I select the right furnace filter

SYNOPSIS

Spending a few dollars on the right furnace filter can help you prolong the life of your furnace and avoid spending a lot of money on a replacement. In this video, we’ll review the different types of filters and what you should keep in mind while you’re shopping for them.

TRANSCRIPT

Furnaces are expensive. Compared to the furnace itself, furnace filters are pretty darn cheap. But a few dollars spent on a filter can keep you from spending big bucks on a new furnace before you need to, because cleaning or changing your filter is one of the easiest ways to prolong the life of your heating system.When buying a furnace filter, the first thing you’ll need to know is what size to buy. There are dozens of sizes of filters. Check your old filter for its size before heading out to buy a new one. There are three filter options. The least expensive filters are made of disposable fiberglass, but they only provide minimum protection for your furnace. They’re also not intended for filtering or cleaning. Pollen and mold pass right through these filters and back into your home.Passive electrostatic filters have a static charge to attract dust, dirt and other airborne particles. They’re better than fiberglass, but they still only block about 15 to 20 percent of the particles that pass through them.Pleated filters reduce allergens and dust better than other filters. They’re made from a much denser mesh material, which makes them better at trapping particles.⇥When shopping for filters, look for higher MERV ratings. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. Home furnace filters are rated 1 to 11. The higher the number, the more efficient the filter is at removing small particles. For example, a MERV Six filter will trap about fifty percent of particles. A MERV Eleven filter will trap up to 95 percent.Pick the filters with the highest MERV rating you can afford. And whatever you buy, check and change your filter frequently. How frequently depends on many factors: the type of filter that you use, how many pets you have, whether anyone in your home has allergies or smokes. Typically with disposable fiberglass or electrostatic filters, you should change them anywhere from once a month to once every three months. Pleated filters generally can last 3 months or longer. More than half of all furnace repair calls are caused by dirt and dust build-up. And that’s completely preventable with just a little monthly maintenance.If you have more questions about filter selection, just visit your local Westlake Hardware. We’re always here to help.

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