How to Choose the Right Furnace Filter

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Just like your air conditioner, your furnace has an air filter that must routinely be cleaned or replaced. Failing to do so can hurt your energy-efficiency, shorten the lifespan of your unit, and add to your home’s indoor air pollution.

If you don’t know anything about furnace filters, they are available in all different sizes and materials to meet a variety of budgets. Here are the five most common types of furnace filters, their price, rating on the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Values (MERV) scale, and the advantages and disadvantages of each.

Disposable Fiberglass Filters

  • Price: $1-2

  • MERV Rating: 2-3

  • Pros: These filters are very inexpensive and prevent large particles such as dust and lint from getting trapped in your system.

  • Cons: Does little-to-nothing to clean the air inside your home.

Disposable Pleated Filters (MERV Rating: 6)

  • Price: $4-5

  • MERV Rating: 6

  • Pros: Relatively inexpensive, blocks some small particles.

  • Cons: Adds more resistance to air flow, making your system consume more energy in order to work.

Disposable Electrostatic Filters

  • Price: $10

  • MERV Rating: 10

  • Pros: Contains self-charging electrostatic cotton fibers that effectively trap small particles.

  • Cons: Price can add up if replaced regularly over the course of several years.

Permanent Electrostatic Filters

  • Price: $15-20

  • MERV Rating: 8

  • Pros: Also contains self-charging fibers that attract small particles. These filters are machine-washable and can be reused for up to eight years.

  • Cons: Less effective than disposable electrostatic filters.

High-Efficiency Pleated Filters

  • Price: $100

  • MERV Rating: 14-16

  • Pros: These are the premium furnace filters – they filter out even the smallest of particles. Good in homes with pets, smokers, and people with respiratory problems.

  • Cons: Very expensive and can’t be installed in every type of furnace.

It is important to note that your selection of filters will be limited by the type of furnace that you have. Refer to your owner’s manual for more information.

Devine Bros. are experts in all things heating – that’s why residents of Fairfield County have trusted us to keep them warm for almost 100 winters. If you live in southwestern Connecticut and need home heating oil, furnace repair, or heating equipment installation, give us a call at (203) 866-4421.

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