The Different Types of Furnace Filters: Which One is Right for You?


Filters are as diverse as furnaces, yet not all filters are suitable for every furnace or home. However, there are a few filters that are considered to be industry staples. It is common knowledge that furnace filters fall into three primary categories: expensive, moderately priced, and cheap. 

This would only consider the sticker price rather than consider things like the quality of the construction, its useful lifespan, its effectiveness at removing allergens and contaminants from the air, and other even more significant factors. There are a lot of different kinds of air filters, each with a few minor variations. Different filters perform tasks in different ways and with varying degrees of success.

When purchasing furnace filters for you room, there are also a few things to remember. According to FilterKing, even though you may not give it much thought, the filter in your furnace impacts your energy bill, your family’s health, and whether or not your furnace can heat your home in the winter.

Types of Furnace Filters

furnace filter

The majority of the dirt drawn into your furnace’s blower fans by filters protects them from clogging. The furnace filter does this effectively by catching dirt particles and preventing their spread throughout your home. However, the filter you choose for your furnace will impact its performance and lifespan.

Here is a quick comparison of the various filters below to help you decide which kind of furnace filter is best for your home.

1. Fiberglass/Synthetic Filters

Dust and dirt are prevented from accumulating on heat exchangers, motors, and other system components by using fiberglass or synthetic filters. A synthetic or fiberglass furnace filter costs little and can be thrown away. The filters catch up to 80% of particles larger than 50 microns and 25% of particles smaller than 3 microns. Can also be used for hide the smell of alcohol in a room.

By collecting larger particles, these filters keep the components of your furnace clean. It also lets as much air through your system as possible, but they don’t filter out harmful contaminants that could harm your health in the long run. Check also how to vent a hot water heater without a chimney.

These are the most common and least expensive types of furnace filters. They are made of spun fiberglass material and are effective at trapping large airborne particles.

2. Pleated Filters

Pleated filters are made of pleated paper or fabric and offer a higher level of filtration than fiberglass filters. They can effectively trap both large and small particles. Pleated filters have more surface area for filtering because they are made with pleats. Typically, they are made of tightly woven cotton or polyester. A pleated filter has a more solid appearance, whereas a fiberglass filter has a loose weave to let you see through it. 

These FILTERS have MERV ratings between 6 and 12, depending on how tightly they are woven. As your filter gets higher in rating, it will have to work harder, so you may need to replace it more often. Like other disposable filters, you’ll also need to replace this filter every one to three months. Replacing your filters often is not necessarily a bad thing, but it all depends on your budget.

3. High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) Filters

HEPA filters are the most efficient type of filter for removing airborne particles. They are usually constructed of fiberglass or paper and can trap particles as small as 0.3 microns in size. In most homes, HEPA filters are used in their air purifiers, but in some, they are part of the central air system, keeping the air around the furnace clean. 

Live pathogens are killed by ultraviolet light, which denatures and neutralizes cells as they pass through some HEPA filters. Some people use activated carbon to make their products even more effective. Up to 99 percent of contaminants larger than 0.3 microns can be captured by high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters. They are great at removing pollutants in your home and making your living space healthier. This way, you don’t need to worry about doing sports indoors and breathing polluted air.

4. Carbon Filters

Carbon or charcoal is used in carbon filters to clean the air. Carbon is very good at catching airborne gasses. Make sure the carbon filter you choose has a lot of carbon in it and is activated. Adsorption is the process by which pollutants bind to carbon molecules. Carbon molecules are more efficient when their surface area is increased through activation. More carbon implies more poisons that the channel can assimilate.

Also, think about the thickness. A thicker carbon filter will capture more particles than a thinner one. The air becomes cleaner as it spends longer in a thicker filter.

What to Look for When Buying Filters?

type furnace filter

According to the manufacturer’s instructions, disposable furnace filters should be changed every three months. Depending on the filter, it may also need to be replaced every few weeks. Further, the air you inhale inside and outside your home might expect you to supplant your channel more regularly. Check also cleaning mold on styrofoam in air conditioner.

The frequency of filter replacement should be determined by consulting the manufacturer’s recommendations. Your furnace will operate properly if your filter is changed frequently. In addition, you will have low energy costs and excellent indoor air quality. In addition, regular maintenance will extend the filter’s lifespan and prevent it from becoming clogged. 

Talk to an expert to learn which type of furnace filter is best for you and how often to change the filter, as they can assist you in selecting the appropriate furnace filter based on your requirements and budget.

Ultimately, when choosing your furnace filters, consider the following:

  • How big your house is 
  • Whether you have pets
  • If you need help managing allergies
  • If anyone in it is sensitive to air pollutants
  • Energy efficiency 
  • How much of an impact your home has on the environment

It would be best if you also kept in mind that using the wrong furnace filter or a filtration system that hasn’t been properly maintained could cause your furnace to be inefficient or even break down. With that being said, regular maintenance is a must, no matter how you look at it.

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