Why scheduled changes of your furnace filter are so important
How many times have you went down to change your furnace/ac filter and when you removed it, it was literally caked with dust, dirt, and hair. Having a clean furnace/ac filter not only makes your system run more efficient saving power, but it also helps extend the life of your system, not to mention helping improve your indoor air quality.
When deciding on what type of filter you want to purchase there are some different things to consider. The first being cost, usually fiberglass or synthetic filters are the most affordable type to buy. In most cases they can filter about 80% of particles 50 microns and larger and 25% of particles that are between 3-10 microns.
Another option is a polyester filter, these filters capture 80-90% or particles 5 microns or larger. Polyester filters are more expensive than the fiberglass or synthetic filters, sometimes costing as much as 3-4 times more.
Some of the best filters are pleated filters or HEPA filters. These type filters normally capture up to 99% of particles that are .3 microns or more. The one disadvantage to these type filters are they can restrict air flow if not changed regularly. They are a great product for the homeowner that really wants good air quality in their home providing they stay on a regular maintenance schedule, changing the filter regularly.
Lastly another great filter is an electrostatic filter. There are both washable and disposable electrostatic filters. You will want to check with the requirements of your furnace/ac. Usually washable versions offer a MERV rating between 5 and 10 and last much longer than the average filter. The one disadvantage of these filters is you do have to take them out and wash the on a regular basis to insure they providing the best filtration.
Whichever filter you feel suits your needs, the most important thing is again making sure your filter is changed on a regular basis. This will benefit the health of your family, the life of your furnace, and your pocket book.