Your furnace is an imperative part of your home, especially during the winter season. Not only does it heat the air, but it also moves the heated air into your home to keep your family comfortable. Unfortunately, a great deal of dirt, dust, allergens, and even mold can build up in the system. Thankfully, filters trap these particles, preventing them from moving into your home along with the heated air.
Over time, though, your filters will clog with particles and debris. If left in place, heated air will struggle moving into your home, decreasing the efficiency and effectiveness of your heating system. Replacing your filters will promote healthy and efficient air flow, but knowing which filters to choose can be difficult. Here are a few tips to help you choose the right furnace filter.
The More MERV, The Merrier?
One of the first things you should consider is the filter's MERV rating. Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV, basically refers to how efficient a filter is. The ratings range from 1 to 16, and most people believe the higher the MERV, the better, but that is not necessarily true.
It is true that the higher the MERV rating, the less particles will seep through. However, filters with higher MERV ratings have smaller pores, which can decrease air flow while blocking particles. This decrease in air flow can affect the efficiency of your furnace, so you may be confused by how to select the best MERV rating.
Most contractors believe MERV ratings between 7 and 12 are sufficient for homes.
Be a Know It All
Because you want a higher MERV rating without reducing air flow and efficiency, you will need to know a little more about your specific system.
A great deal of power will be needed to move air through a filter with the highest MERV rating. In some instances, your furnace may not have this necessary power. Of course, you do not need to replace your entire furnace to accommodate for a high-efficiency filter.
Consult a contractor who has experience with your specific furnace's manufacturer. Contractors like those at Augusta Mechanical Heating & Air Conditioning have the technical knowledge needed to determine if your system has the capability of heating your home efficiently with a high-efficiency filter.
Lastly, you will also need to take the size of your existing filter into consideration when selecting a new one. Locate the exact size, which is usually marked on one side of the filter. If the filter is not marked, measure it yourself.
Without using a filter of the right size, it will not fit properly into the furnace, reducing its effectiveness.
Your furnace filter is one of the most important elements for efficient heating and good indoor air quality. This guide will help you select the best one for your furnace.