Your furnace works hard to heat your home, but it won’t work as well if you are not using the right filter or if you don’t change the filter. Attention to furnace filter quality is one of the best steps toward keeping your furnace running smoothly this season. Here is what you should know about choosing a filter and how often to change it.
How to Choose a Filter
Don’t pick the first and cheapest filter you see. There is a significant difference between those thin, single panel mesh filters and higher quality options. Fiberglass furnace filters will keep some dust out of your furnace, which is important, but will still allow a lot in to pollute the air in your home.
Look instead for disposable pleated air filters. These have a higher MERV rating, which is the minimum efficiency reporting value and means they trap more particles. For home use, buy filters with a rating from 9 to 13. Some sellers might encourage you to choose higher-rated filters, but most residential HVAC systems won’t function well when those are used because high-MERV filters reduce airflow to the system.
High quality pleated filters will help protect your furnace from contaminants and will improve your indoor air quality by reducing allergens. You should not just put the new filter in and forget about it, however. For the best results, you should change them every month.
Changing Your Filter
Here are three reasons why you should change your furnace filter monthly:
- Reduce allergies. Clogged air filters will not reduce allergens in your home’s air and can even make things worse.
- Keep your heating bills lower. Dirty filters reduce airflow, which makes your furnace struggle harder to perform. This leads to greater energy consumption.
- Protect your furnace. The reduced airflow, in addition to particles collecting on inner furnace components, can lead to a furnace breakdown. Changing the filter can prevent costly repairs or complete furnace malfunction.
For more information about furnace filters and your Portland area home, please contact us at Roth Heating & Cooling.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in the Metro Portland area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).