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The Importance of Furnace Filters

Posted Feb 13, 2020

Most people don’t pay as much attention as they should to their heating systems. And they are the ones keeping your home nice and warm. That’s why it’s important that have it checked frequently to prevent possible malfunction and also increase its efficiency.   

One way of keeping your furnace up to date is keeping the filters nice and clean. And we will help you with a little information on how important the filters are.

What does a furnace filter do?

The real purpose of the filter is to protect the blower fan from dust and all the improper substance that may go inside the furnace. It also helps keep the quality of the air inside your home, but this is not its main job.

Filters have ratings

Furnace filters are rated using MERV (Minimum, Efficiency, Reporting, Value) and it goes from 1 to 16. The higher the MERV rating on a filter, the fewer dust particles and other contaminants can pass through it.

According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, medium efficiency filters with a MERV rating of between 8 and 11 are reasonably efficient at filtering small to large homes. To be safe, you should check if your furnace manufacturer has a maximum MERV rating your model of furnace can use.

There are different types of filters

·        Disposable fibreglass:

These are usually the most common filter and they don’t do much more than stop large particles of lint, debris, or dust from clogging your system. Unfortunately, these filters are not good for cleaning the air itself. They’re inexpensive and are not good for those that live with asthma or allergies.

·        Disposable pleated:

This is a standard and very popular option that consists of cotton paper or polyester. It’s very affordable and made from environmentally friendly materials and is effective in removing some small particles like mites and spores. However, these require frequent changing in order to prevent clogging of your HVAC system.

·        Disposable electrostatic:

These are developed with self-charging electrostatic cotton or paper fibres that are able to capture small particles that can be potentially harmful. They are affordably priced but can get pricier if you need a custom size. They are great for homes with smokers or pets.

·        Permanent electrostatic:

These are also made of self-charging electrostatic fibres and permanent options have removable, machine-washable filters that can be taken out and cleaned, then used for up to eight years.

·        High efficiency pleated:

These are made from pleated 4-5” pleated synthetic cotton and are attached to a firm metal grid that helps stop leaks from occurring. These will filter out the smallest of particles and are exceptional for those that live with respiratory issues or other autoimmune diseases. They are commonly seen in hospitals because of their efficiency but are costly and may not be available for installation in all systems.

Do you know how to replace your filter?
After understanding the size of your filter, it’s time to replace the old one with a new one in a few easy steps:

1.   Turn off your furnace

2.   Open the filter compartment door (this will be between the air intake and furnace itself) and slide the old filter out and properly dispose of it.

3.   In case it’s been a long time since you last changed the filter, it’s advised that you vacuum around the outside of the equipment and also inside the filter opening before changing the filters. 

4.   Check for an arrow indicating the direction of the airflow. This arrow has to face the furnace side to work properly. 

5.   Turn the furnace back on and remember that our experts advise to replace disposable filters every 90 days and clean your washable filter every month.

We’ve been into the business for more than 60 years with the best team of experts in the Lower Mainland. So, if you don’t feel comfortable cleaning or changing the filter, contact us! We’d be glad to help.

Sources: https://www.specialtyheating.com/types-of-furnace-filters/
https://globalnews.ca/news/1621011/what-you-need-to-know-about-furnace-filters/
https://www.furnacefilterscanada.com/what-is-merv/?gclid=Cj0KCQiA04XxBRD5ARIsAGFygj8GTifEtYr4QSxwR-yt0Q8dwpC6hlM8q7EIWcw5X0glnpSD7x-TtuAaAnrHEALw_wcB
https://www.hvac.com/faq/common-air-filter-sizes-air-filters-size/

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