new furnace filter

Replacing your furnace filter might seem like a mindless task, but there are some things you should taking into consideration before purchasing a new filter. Having children, pets, being a smoker or even having asthma can be a determining factor on what type of furnace filter you choose for your home.

Size
Make sure you have the right size. When removing your old furnace filter, check its dimensions which are usually located on the sides of the filter. There, you will find the height, width and thickness of the filter you need to buy.

Efficiency Rating
Most furnaces have a minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) rating. The MERV rating tells you how effective the filter is. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficient the furnace filter is. According to the Air Purifier Guide, a good MERV rating begins at four and goes all the way up to 20, depending on the filter you use. Most residential filters won’t exceed a MERV 13 rating.

Selection
See through – If you can see through the air filter, you don’t want to buy it. It will need to be changed soon after you install it and it doesn’t trap much dirt or debris.

Disposable pleated filter – These filters will trap major dirt, hair and other debris. These pleated filters can even remove spores and mites from the air. These are very affordable but need to be changed every 1 to 2 months. This is a good option if you don’t have children, don’t smoke and don’t have pets or any breathing related issues.

Disposable electrostatic filter – Only needing to be replaced every few years, these filters last much longer than pleated filters. These filters use self-charging electricity that attracts and traps small particles. They are not very expensive in regular sizes however custom sizes can get pretty pricey. This is a great option for those with pets or children.

Permanent electrostatic filter – For those of you looking for a more permanent furnace filter solution, this filter is for you. Using self-charging cotton fibers, this filter attracts and traps large and small debris. It also allows you to remove the filter and wash it by hand or in the washing machine. The permanent electrostatic only needs to be replaced every 6 to 8 years.