Different Types of Furnace Filters Explained

When it comes to furnace filters, there are several different types that can work with your oven. From polyester to pleated, fiberglass to electrostatic, carbon to washable, and even high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters, it can be difficult to know which one is best for your home. To help you make an informed decision, we'll explain the different types of furnace filters and their respective MERV ratings. Polyester filters are made of high quality materials and trap between 80% and 95% of particles. They are more expensive than fiberglass or synthetic filters, but offer better protection against contaminants that can cause health problems.

Pleated filters are designed with pleats to provide a larger surface area for filtering. They are usually made of tightly woven polyester or cotton and have MERV ratings ranging from 6 to 12. You'll need to replace disposable filters every one to three months, depending on the filter rating. Electrostatic filters filter the air by using fibers that are charged to attract particles. You can purchase disposable or washable electrostatic filters with MERV ratings ranging from 4 to 10. When maintaining a washable filter, you should wash it with soap and water and allow it to dry completely before reinstalling it. Carbon filters filter the air with charcoal or charcoal.

Carbon is highly efficient at trapping gases in the air through a process called adsorption. If you choose a carbon filter, make sure it has a high carbon content and is activated. An activation process increases the surface area of carbon molecules, making them more effective. Fiberglass filters are an affordable alternative to more traditional polyester filters. They have a fabric loose enough to allow you to see through it and have a MERV rating of only 3-4.This means that while the fibers will trap large particles, they will allow smaller particles to pass through and remain in circulation.

Fiberglass filters generally have a lifespan of 30 days. Most filters on the market are disposable and are designed for 30 to 90 days of service before retirement. But green consumers who don't mind paying a little extra can commit to a filter that can last up to 10 years with proper care. A washable oven filter is an eco-friendly alternative to disposable models, but they come with decidedly lower MERV ratings than their disposable counterparts. In particular, most reusable filters have a MERV that reaches a maximum of only four. This rating means they are effective against pollen, dust mites, and loose carpet fibers, but allow mold spores, kitchen by-products, and hair sprays to pass through.

If you or someone in your household suffers from environmental allergies or is generally sensitive to common household irritants, a washable filter may not provide enough filtration for your home. High-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters are often part of stand-alone air purifiers, but some homes have HEPA filters installed as part of the central air system. Some HEPA filters include ultraviolet lights that denature and neutralize cellular organisms as they pass through to kill living pathogens. Others further strengthen their effectiveness through the use of activated carbon. Before you start comparing the different types of furnace filters, it's important to know their classification system. This is known as MERV (Minimum Value of Efficiency Reports).

The MERV value can vary from one specific filter to another, but different types have their own MERV rating range.When selecting an oven filter for your home, it's important to consider your needs and budget. Polyester filters offer the best protection against contaminants but are more expensive than other options. Pleated filters provide a larger surface area for filtering while fiberglass filters are an economical option with lower MERV ratings. Electrostatic and carbon filters also offer good filtration capabilities while washable models are eco-friendly but come with lower MERV ratings. Finally, high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters provide excellent filtration capabilities but require more maintenance than other options.

Knowing the different types of furnace filters and their respective MERV ratings will help you make an informed decision when selecting one for your home.