Choosing A Furnace Air Filter & How Often To Change Them

October 03, 2019

Choosing The Best Furnace Air Filter For Your Home 

Having the proper amount of airflow is critical to a home furnace, so it can operate at top efficiency. Air filters play a very important role in that process, as they are designed to trap airborne particles such as mold and dust from entering the living spaces of a house. Because there are so many different types of furnace filters on the market today, homeowners often get confused as to which is the best kind to buy. 
 

Different Types Of Furnace Air Filters 

Fiberglass Filters

Fiberglass filters are the most commonly used in homes today and the least expensive. Produced from spun strands of soft, fiberglass material, this type of filter is good at catching large, air borne particles, such as lint and dust. Fiberglass filters normally come in packs of three, so homeowners can keep a steady supply on hand. The only downside to these filters is that they do not purify the air, as more costly ones are capable of doing. 
 

Pleated Filters

Pleated filters are a step up from the standard, fiberglass variety. These filters can not only capture dust and lint from coming into a home, but also certain allergens like mites and pet dander. Higher quality filters (due to their tightly spun fibers) can sometimes make furnaces work harder in order to push air through a house’s ventilation system. This can cause premature wear on certain components in the heating unit. However, if a homeowner is more concerned about the quality of their indoor air, pleated filters are a great option.
 

Electrostatic Filters

Electrostatic filters are effective at preventing specific allergens from entering a home’s living area.  Made from a combination of both paper and cotton, these filters create a static charge in order to trap particles that tend to cause allergic reactions in both people and pets. Electrostatic filters can be a bit pricey, but their ability to help minimize indoor allergies cannot be beat. 
 

Furnace Air Filter Sizes  

It is important for homeowners to know the correct size air filter to use in their furnace systems. Installing the incorrect filter can restrict airflow and even allow dust, lint and other particles to enter a home’s ventilation system. 
 
Furnace filters come in many different sizes, but here are some of the more common ones. 

10 X 20
14 X 20
16 X 24
18 X 30
12 X 12
14 X 24
16 X 25
20 X 20

Your instruction manual will tell you the correct filter size to use. This information can also usually be found on a sticker, attached to the furnace itself. 

How Often To Replace A Furnace Filter 

Because all furnaces operate under different conditions, there is no single answer to the question of how often to change a filter. However, industry professionals have provided some helpful guidelines over the years. Fiberglass filters should be checked and changed about every 30-60 days. Higher quality filters can last up to six months, but they should be inspected every other month or so. One things is for sure - No matter how long your filter has been in the furnace, if it is dirty, change it! 

Contact Us Today

Since first opening our doors back in 1998, the professional team at HomeServe of Long Island has been there for our customers with the finest HVAC services in the industry. If you find yourself in need of heating or A/C repair, replacement or maintenance, help is only a phone call away. We also service water heaters as well. If you are concerned about the condition of your furnace’s air filters, give us a call and we are happy to come out to inspect them. We are ready to put our two decades of experience to work for you! 


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