Choosing A Furnace Air Filter & How Often To Change Them

September 30, 2019

Choosing The Best Furnace Air Filter For Your Home 

Airflow is very important to the efficient operation of any home furnace system and the unit’s filter plays a critical role in providing air to each room of the home. Filters are designed to prevent mold and dust from entering the living spaces of the house. Because there are so many different types of furnace air filters on the market today, it can get confusing for homeowners to decide which kind to buy. 
 

Different Types Of Furnace Air Filters 

Fiberglass Filters

These filters are the most common and generally cost the least. Made from spun strands of fiberglass, fiberglass filters do a good job of trapping large particles in the air, such as dust and lint. They are usually sold in bulk packs, which allows homeowners to keep several month’s supply readily at hand. The down side to fiberglass filters is that they do not purify a home’s air, like more expensive filters are able to do. 
 

Pleated Filters 

Pleated furnace filters are a step up from the standard, fiberglass based products used in most homes.  These types of filters can not only trap lint and dust from coming into the ventilation system, but also specific allergens, such as pet dander and dust mites.  Because the fibers are much tighter in pleated filters, they tend to make the furnace work harder in order to push air through the house. This can lead to premature wear of furnace components and a loss of efficiency. However, if you are more concerned about the quality of your indoor air, pleated filters are a great option. 

Electrostatic Filters 

Electrostatic filters are specially designed to trap harmful allergens from coming into the home. Produced from both cotton and paper, these filters create a static charge, which is very effective at capturing airborne particles that contribute to allergy problems. Electrostatic filters tend to be the most costly, but they do a great job of helping people stay allergy free all season long. 
 

Furnace Air Filter Sizes 

It is very important for homeowners to know the exact size of their furnace air filter, as putting the wrong one in can lead to restricted airflow or particles entering the ventilation system.  
 
There are many filter sizes, but here some of the most common ones. 

10 X 20
14 X 20
16 X 24
18 X 30
12 X 12
14 X 24
16 X 25
20 X 20

The instruction manual for your furnace will specify the proper filter size to use. This information is usually also displayed on a sticker attached to the side of the heating unit. 

How Often To Replace A Furnace Filter 

Even though there is no single answer to this frequently asked question, there are some helpful guidelines to follow. The less expensive, fiberglass filters should be changed every 30-60 days, depending upon such factors as having pets or smokers in the house. Higher quality filters can last up to 6 months, but it is always important to check them about every 90 days. A good rule of thumb is that no matter what kind of filter you have in your furnace, if it is dirty, change it! 
 
Contact Us Today 
 
For over 20 years, the dedicated professionals at HomeServe of Staten Island have been there for our loyal customers whenever they needed us. We are proud to provide the best heating/air conditioning repair, replacement and maintenance services in the industry. If you have a concern about your furnace air filters, give us a call. We are happy to come out and check them for you. Let us put our two decades of knowledge and experience to work on your home’s heating system.

 


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