Does Furnace Filters Matter? An Expert's Guide

When it comes to furnace filters, it's important to understand that the type and thickness of filter you use can have a significant impact on the performance of your HVAC system. Thicker filters are denser and block more dust and particles, but they can also make the oven work harder to suck in air. It's best to use only the type and thickness of filter recommended by the oven manufacturer. In general, filters with higher MERV ratings are more effective and improve air quality, but they are also more expensive.

However, higher doesn't always mean better for homeowners. MERV ratings greater than 16 are typically used in specialized commercial environments where air filtration is essential, such as hospitals. The thickness of the air filter depends first and foremost on your system configurations. The general best practice is to use the thickest possible air filter for maximum efficiency.

But, never try to force an air filter to fit in a space it's not designed for. The size of the air filter is not the only important factor, but also its MERV rating, which stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This is a technical talk about how good the air filter is for trapping dust particles and preventing them from circulating back into your home. A MERV rating of 1 is the worst rating, while a MERV rating of 16 is the best.

This means that a MERV 16 air filter will trap more dirt, dust particles, allergens, etc., than a MERV 1 air filter. Permanent reusable filters (also known as washable filters) are built with a solid aluminum or plastic frame and are more efficient than a disposable filter. Individuals who are particularly sensitive to allergens and need the added protection of a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter should consider the Aerostar pleated air filter.Look for the grill opening that draws air into it - this is the return duct and the oven filter will be somewhere nearby. Alternatively, you can use a 1-inch thick filter in compartments that can accommodate a deeper filter. To put it into perspective, a 1-inch air filter may need to be changed every month, while a 4-inch air filter can last up to six months. Thicker air filters are great for trapping dust particles and allergens, but they also greatly restrict the passage of airflow, so you need to make sure your HVAC system has a fan powerful enough to handle something like a MERV 16 filter.

Because of their lower quality, disposable fiberglass filters need to be serviced and replaced more frequently than pleated filters. Protecting the oven is the main task of the filter, and a pleatless filter that provides sufficient airflow may be all you need. Usually, all you have to do is take out the old filter and write down the dimensions that are labeled on the edge of the filter. Pleated filters are made of paper and polyester and do a good job of filtering out most household particles and allergens. The main purpose of an oven filter is to protect the blower fan from all dust, hair and other dirt that the return duct carries. Next, take a look at your air filter and you will see an arrow located somewhere along the edge of the filter.

It's best to confirm what your MERV rating converts to to make sure you're using a safe filter for your oven. Once you know the filter dimensions needed and the desired MERV rating, it's time to choose the type of air filter for your home. A 1-inch filter with less surface space will clog up fairly quickly and will need to be replaced much sooner than a coarser filter. In conclusion, when selecting an oven filter for your home or business, it's important to consider both its size and its MERV rating in order to ensure optimal performance from your HVAC system. Make sure you use only filters recommended by your oven manufacturer in order to ensure maximum efficiency.

Willis Diruzzo
Willis Diruzzo

Typical sushi enthusiast. Infuriatingly humble music geek. Typical internetaholic. Subtly charming social media maven. Lifelong bacon buff.