Choosing the Right Furnace Filter: What You Need to Know

When it comes to home improvement equipment, furnace filters can be ranked among some of the least interesting products. But, it is important to choose the filter wisely, because an oven with the wrong filter will not work efficiently. A filter that removes the smallest particles provides the cleanest air, but may not provide enough airflow for the oven. The thickness of the air filter depends, first and foremost, on the configurations of your system.

The general best practice is to use the thickest air filter you can for maximum efficiency. BUT, never try to force an air filter to fit in a space it's not designed for. Thicker filters are denser and block more dust and particles, but they can also make the oven work harder to suck in air. Use only the type and thickness of filter recommended by the oven manufacturer.

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 rating is a technical talk about how good an air filter is at 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. What this means is that a MERV 16 air filter will trap more dirt, dust particles, allergens, etc., than a MERV 1 air filter.

If you really want to go further, buy 3 different types of filters and take readings with each of them at once in the filter slot. Also think about having a layer of dirt on them. If a clean filter is about to be out of the parameters, chances are that if it is dirty it will go out of specification. Which means that if the air pressure readings with the clean filter are close to not being in the parameters of what should be the ideal readings on the reference sheet, chances are that with that filter it is dirty or slightly dirty, it is not in the parameters. What type of filter do you have? Start by turning off the oven.

Remove the existing oven filter, which will be inside the oven or inside the return air vent. Look for an arrow on the filter that indicates the direction of the air flow. Using a permanent marker, draw the direction of the air flow on the outside of the oven, so you always know the correct way to install the filter. Then note the size of the oven filter, which will be printed on the cardboard frame. Deeper depth can also improve filter life and efficiency; they also make it easier for air to enter and exit the filter.

A clogged filter can cause both the oven and the air conditioner to work harder and less efficiently. Air cleaner thickness ranges in size from 1 to 5 inches deep; some options are more common than others, and your oven may dictate the thickness you can use. The Aerostar manufacturer recommends changing this filter every two to three months in autumn and spring, and monthly during intensive oven use, such as winter. 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. Just because one filter blocks more particles than another doesn't mean it's the right choice for your oven.

Reducing the thickness by one inch shouldn't be a big deal; for example, you should be able to use a 4-inch filter instead of a 5-inch filter. Because these filters offer a high MERV rating of 12, they can clog more quickly than filters with lower scores. It turned out that switching to a really cheap oven filter that allowed better airflow was the solution. So, if it fits your oven, then a 4-inch air cleaner is better than a 1-inch air cleaner when it comes to improving air quality.Oven filters come in dozens of sizes, with three most common sizes being 16 by 20 inches, 20 by 25 inches and 16 by 25 inches. For those who don't know or just need a reminder: Oven filters remove dust, dirt, pollen, allergens, bacteria and other air pollutants from your home air, improving indoor air quality for you and your family. As mentioned before, using thicker filters can help improve efficiency and service life as they make it easier for air to enter and exit through them.

However, as they become thicker they can also make your oven work harder as it has to draw more air through them. In conclusion: Choosing an appropriate furnace filter is essential for maintaining good indoor air quality as well as keeping your furnace running efficiently. Make sure you select one that fits your furnace correctly and has an appropriate MERV rating for your needs.