Different Types of Filters

A good filter for your furnace or air handler is a must. Because that device heats and blows air throughout your home, you want to be sure that it doesn't recycle contaminants and bacteria that could easily be captured at the air handler. That's why it's vital to choose the right furnace filter on the first try. Here are some furnace filters to consider and their various benefits to your home and family:

  • Electrostatic Most electrostatic filters are permanent and must be washed on a regular basis. They are electronically charged to capture particles as they pass through, much like a magnet. These filters are effective because they are both physical and electronic. However, keep in mind that they are only as efficient as the cleaning they receive.
  • HEPA HEPA is the highest rating available for a filtration system, removing up to 99.9% of all particles as small as 0.3 microns. However, they are also inefficient when used in furnaces as they severely reduce air flow. They are not often recommended for this reason.
  • Pleated Pleated filters come in both reusable and permanent forms and can be either purely mechanical or electrostatic. There is a very wide range of efficiency ratings for pleated filters so make sure you analyze your home's specific needs before selecting any one pleated filter.
  • Activated Carbon Activated carbon is unique from the other three filter types because it effectively removes fumes, odors and chemicals from indoor air along with other larger particles. It is recommended that if you choose an activated carbon filter, you supplement it with a pleated or electrostatic filter (or choose a combination filter) to remove all unwanted components from your home.

There are a lot of options when it comes to furnace filters. To make sure you get only the best air quality,call Area Heating & Cooling so we can help you determine which pollutants are the biggest problem in your home.

How often should I change my furnace filter?

This question comes up all too often and it's a good one. It's easy to accumulate debris in your filters. from dead skin cells, to dust and general traffic being pulled in, there are endless little particles that are drawn in to your home. While we are currently talking about heaters, this applies to your air conditioner filters as well.

So, how often should you change your filter? This depends on the width of the filter. So for instance if you have a 1" filter you would change that every month, a 2" every other month, a 4" filter should be changed every 3-6 months and a 5" filter should be changed every 9-12 months. All of this is according to the manufactures. It is an important chore that is overlooked and can often be the cause of breakdowns in your HVAC system. It is hard to believe, but a simple filter change is a great way to ensure that your furnace doesn't have to work so hard to get heat to your home. When the filter becomes impacted, it causes the motor and other major electrical parts to struggle to push out the air flow. If you are not sure what type of filter to purchase you can always give us a call, we are glad to look up the make and model and make a recommendation. We carry basic styles on hand in our office or we can special order for those hard to find sizes. Depending on the age, size and location of the furnace, you may want to ask a technician to install it for you on your next maintenance visit. As part of any furnace tune up, changing out the filter is always included. Call us today at 360-737-0811, or fill out our service request form.


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