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The Right Furnace Filter: Choose Carefully

October 7, 2014 | Blog

There are several different types of furnace filters available to homeowners. Choosing a good quality furnace filter will ensure your heating and cooling components are protected from debris and acceptable indoor air quality is maintained throughout the year. 

The ability of a filter to trap air particles is called the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value or MERV rating. A filter can have a rating from 1 to 20 with the high numbers being most efficient at catching pollutants.

These are the filter types you will find at a home improvement center.

  • Disposable fiberglass filters – Constructed in a single panel design, fiberglass filters are not very efficient at trapping small pollutants. Large particles are captured which protects the HVAC components. This would not be a good option for a homeowner with concerns about good air quality. The MERV rating is 1 to 4.
  • Disposable pleated filters – A folded design gives pleated filters a large filter area. Large and small particles are captured ensuring good indoor air quality. Regularly changing the filter is important because debris can build up quickly. The MERV rating is between 6 and 12.
  • Disposable electrostatic filters – Self-charging electrostatic cotton filter material attracts and captures air particles. A MERV rating of 10 is assigned to these filters.
  • Washable filters – This filter is not a popular choice with homeowners because of the extensive maintenance required to maintain efficiency. Mold can result if the filter is not dry when installed into the HVAC unit. Keeping a second filter ready ensures a clean filter is always available. The MERV rating is 1-4.
  • High-efficiency filters – There are several different configurations of these filters. Dense cotton filter material provides superior filtering ability. Airflow through the HVAC system can be reduced because of the extreme nature of this filter. The MERV rating is 13-16. Homeowners with special air quality concerns can benefit from this option.

Please contact Mathews CCAC Heating and Air Conditioning with any concerns about a furnace filter or other home comfort issues. We have been proudly serving Corpus Christi and the Coastal Blend area of South Texas since 1979.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Pelfophoto/Shutterstock”

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