Which Furnace Filter Should You Purchase?
As a homeowner, you rely on your furnace to keep your house warm during the colder winter months. While your yearly maintenance is likely handled by a professional, it’s necessary for you to change out the air filter every couple of months. Whenever you go to the store to purchase a new filter, it can be overwhelming with the options that are available to you.
Fiberglass filters, also known as synthetic filters, are typically the cheapest of your five filter options. These disposable filters will trap 80% of particles that are 50 microns or larger and 25% of particles that are between 3 and 10 microns. These minimalistic filters provide adequate protection from excess dust and dirt getting into the internal components of your furnace.
Polyester filters are a step up from the basic fiberglass filter. They’re able to successfully trap between 80% to 95% of particles that are 5 microns or larger in size. Since these filters offer more protection against pollutants than simple fiberglass filters, they tend to cost a little more.
Electrostatic filters use self-charging fibers that attract harmful particles from the air. Many of these filters are offered in a washable setup that will last much longer than any other type of disposable filter. However, washable filters do require regular washing with soap and water. Additionally, you must always make sure it’s completely dry before you reinstall it or else you run the risk of mold and mildew growth in your HVAC system.
Pleated air filters are considered your high-efficiency filter and a step above polyester filters. These effectively trap airborne particles that are 0.3 microns or bigger. This means that they’ll successfully trap bacteria and viruses that are present in your air. The best part about pleated filters is that they can eliminate more pollutants without sacrificing consistent airflow for your ducting.
HEPA stands for high-efficiency particulate air. These are the high-end filtration systems for home furnaces. HEPA air filters can trap up to 99% of airborne particles that are 0.3 microns or larger. This makes them perfect for eliminating indoor air pollutants and can enhance your indoor air quality. However, it’s important to note that HEPA air filters can reduce your system’s airflow. This can lead to higher energy usage from your furnace.
Factors to Consider
There isn’t one filter that’s a one-size-fits-all solution for every home. People are different, and their needs vary. When you’re selecting a filter that will be perfect for your home, there are four main factors that you want to take into consideration. These include your budget, outdoor air quality, indoor air quality, and your family’s current health.
Your budget is going to play a big role in the type of filter that you get. With the average home needing its furnace filter changed every three months, that can add up to at least four or more filters a year. Fiberglass and polyester filters are going to be the cheapest, ranging from about $5 to $10. Pleated filters are going to cost around $20, while HEPA filters will cost $100 and up. Electrostatic filters run for around $100 and are reusable.
The next two factors that you want to take into consideration are the quality of the outdoor air around your house and the quality of the air inside of your home. Both can have a large impact on the type of filter that you’ll need to purchase for your residence. If you live in a city that has poor air quality, you’ll likely want to consider one of the more expensive filters that has a higher rating.
The activities that you perform inside of your home play a big role in how much filtering you’ll need, too. If you find yourself cooking a lot, someone in your household smokes inside, or you have multiple pets, you’ll want to consider a filter with maximum filtering capabilities.
The current health of your family should also play a big role in what type of filter you buy. If you have family members who have respiratory problems like asthma or they’re highly susceptible to allergies, you’ll likely want to purchase a HEPA filter over a fiberglass one.
Reliable Furnace Service
Kahn Air Conditioning, Inc. is your reliable furnace service provider for the entire Northridge, CA, area. We also provide cooling, heating, generator, indoor air quality, smart home, and air purifier services. Contact us today to get the professional help that you need.