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Selecting the Best Furnace Filter for Your Home

Selecting the best furnace filter for your heating and air conditioning system is essential for creating and maintaining a clean, healthy and comfortable home environment. Filters can remove dirt, dust, pollen, allergens, bacteria and other air pollutants when properly installed and maintained. Changing filters based on manufacturers' guidelines and conditions in your home and surrounding area will also ensure that your system runs efficiently and economically.

Following are the factors to consider when selecting an air filter for your home:

Filter size: The filter must fit well in your furnace. A good fit prevents air from slipping around the edges of the filter, thus preventing dirty from passing by and avoiding loss of air from the system or introduction of dirty room air into the system. Typical sizes are 16" x 20", 20" x 25" and 16" x 25". Many other sizes are also available. Filters are available from multiple manufacturers for most systems. Check the compatibility information in the product details section for each filter to confirm that it is a direct replacement for your system.

Filter thickness: Filter range in thickness from 1" to 5". In general, a thicker filter will last longer and can be more efficient in removal of contaminants. Your system configuration will determine the thickness of the filter that you can use.

Pleated vs. Non-Pleated: In general, pleated filters are more efficient and last longer than simple fiberglass non-pleated filters. Pleated filters have much greater surface area to capture contaminants and can have finer porosity to capture smaller particles while still allowing full air flow.

Filter Efficiency: MERV is the standard rating system adopted by The American Society of Heating Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and the air filter industry. This numbering system makes it easier to evaluate and compare mechanical air filters for overall effectiveness in removing airborne particulates. The higher the MERV rating, the greater the efficiency in removing contaminants and pollutants.

If people in your home have allergies, asthma or other respiratory conditions, if you have pets, or if you live in a dusty environment, you will benefit from filters with high MERV ratings.


MERV Rating

Typical Controlled Contaminants Air Filter Type
1 - 4 >10 micron particle size

Pollen, dust mites, sanding dust,
textile and carpet fibers
Disposable: Fiberglass or Synthetic Panel Filters

Electrostatic: Self Charging woven panel
Filters

Washable: Aluminum Mesh Filters
5 - 8 3.0 - 10 Micron Particle Size

Mold spores, hair spray, cement dust,
dusting aids, pudding mix
Pleated Filters: Disposable, extended surface area, thick with cotton-polyester blend media, cardboard frame

Cartridge Filters: Graded density viscous coated cube or pocket filters, synthetic media.

Disposable: Synthetic panel filters
9 - 12


1.0 - 3.0 Micron Particle Size

Legionella, humidifier dust, lead dust, milled flour, auto emissions, welding fumes
Box Filter - Rigid style cartridge filters, may use lofted or paper media.

Bag Filter: Non-supported microfine fiberglass or synthetic media, 12-36 in deep, 6 - 12 pockets

13 - 16
0.3 - 1.0 Micron Particle Size

All bacteria, tobacco smoke, proplet Nuceli (Sneeze)
Box Filter - Rigid style cartridge filtersm 4 - 12" deep, may use lofted or paper media.

Bag Filter: Non-supported microfine fiberglass or synthetic media, 12-36 in deep, 6 - 12 pockets


DiscountFurnaceFilter.com offers a complete line of filter and related products from leading manufacturers. Click on the links below for details:

Lennox MERV 16 Filters

Lennox MERV 10 Filters

Lennox MERV 8 Filters

Aprilaire MERV 10 Filters

Aprilaire MERV 13 Filters and Upgrade Kits

Honeywell MERV 10 Filters

Honeywell MERV 11 Filters


Abatement Technologies Indoor Air Quality Products

Dust Free Filters




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