Furnace filters are very important as they keep parts of your HVAC system clean and help it to run efficiently. A latest study has found that high quality air filters in your HVAC system stop the spread of COVID-19. You can prolong the life of your heating and cooling system by replacing your furnace filter occasionally. For your awareness, I will briefly explain that furnace filters enhance the indoor air quality by removing dust, dirt, allergens, bacteria and other air pollutants from circulating air in your home and ensure a healthy, clean and pure environment for your loved one. First of all, you should know how to select the right heavy-duty furnace filter to make sure your system runs smoothly and efficiently. Check your HVAC system’s manual to find the type of filter you need and buy filters which are rated for residential systems not for commercial utilization. Your filter must have the ability to remove the contaminants and has a minimum impact on the HVAC system’s airflow.

Furnace filters range in style and material. Disposables are commonly used types wherein fiberglass, cotton, polyester or paper material is used. They are enclosed in a frame which slides into a duct work opening. Another type is washable filters which can be removed and cleaned but need more maintenance. This type of filter is not efficient like disposables. With the help of static electricity, electrostatic filters entice and grab small particles. Over time, filters are clogged and dirty and lose their efficiency. You should consider changing your filter periodically as a clogged filter blocks air and your HVAC system has to work harder than usual. Here are some few more things to consider while choosing heavy duty furnace filters.

Filter Size

You can select the right size filter after viewing your furnace manual or can determine its dimensions by checking the old filter.  Furnace filters are available in various sizes like 16″ x 20″, 20″ x 25″ and 16″ x 25″ but you should have an exact fitting filter as a good fit hindered air slipping around the edges. Many companies also make filters which can fit correctly or well-matched with other companies’ cabinets. So, whenever you go to buy a new filter, take the older one with you or write down the dimensions so that you would not forget it on store.

Pleated Furnace Filters

Pleated furnace filters are more effective and resistible than fiberglass non-pleated filters because they have more surface area and can capture more dust, pollen and mold. They have smaller pores in them to catch small particles. They don’t need to be changed as often as standard filters.

Understand Filter MERV Ratings

Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) is a standard system to assess and compare mechanical air filters for their performance in eliminating airborne particles. In simple terms, if the MERV rating will be high then the efficiency, to remove the contaminants, will be greater. A MERV ranges from 1 to 16 and 10 is for a normal household but you should consider a MERV 12 or higher rating if anyone in your home is suffering from asthma and other respiratory issues. MERV 12 or higher value filters are normally used commercially like in hospitals and laboratories. You can check the manual to find the highest MERV-rated filter, you can use for maximum airflow. There are few MERV ratings commonly used.

  • Disposable fiberglass filters have MERV rating of 2 or 3 and their main aim is to secure the furnace not air filtration.
  • MERV rating of washable filter ranges between 1 and 4 and they can circulate fungus and bacteria if not regularly cleaned.
  • Disposable pleated filters have a MERV rating in between 6-12 and they are a good choice for filtering the air.
  • Electrostatic pleated filters have 8-12 MERV rating and they filtrate harmful and odorous particles at your home.

Filter Thickness

A filter thickness could be in between 1″ to 5″ whereas a thick filter has a long lifetime and it can be more effective.

Finally, you may get an idea of how to select the best heavy-duty furnace filter for your home.