Furnace Filters

Written by Norene Anderson
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Layering furnace filters is the broadest cover for household contaminants. A pre-filter designed to capture the larger dust particles will leave more surface room on the main filter to attract and hold the finer particulates. If this system is used, the airflow should be carefully monitored. If the initial filter becomes too dirty, it will restrict the airflow and cause unsafe pull on the fan motor.

Use of a pre-filter will require the filter be either changed or cleaned frequently to work efficiently. It is often recommended to have a third layer for clearing out the gases in the air. A layer of activated charcoal or carbon will remove odors and gases to give the clean sense of fresh air. The only thing missing is replenishing the oxygen content of the air. This is done by frequently opening the doors or windows to allow outside air to circulate briefly in the home.

Compare Furnace Filters

Comparison of furnace filters online is quick and easy. Look for the pros and cons of each filter. Do a fair comparison by looking at the same criteria. If you are looking for a filter based on MERV ratings, do not compare a MERV 12 with a MERV 8 or some other rating. The criterion is different for each rating. You should compare MERV 12 with MERV 12 and so on. Also, consider the type of particulates to be captured.

Once you determine the best MERV rated filters, consider if replaceable or permanent is the best way to go. The price is much greater for permanent, but it is a once-in-many-years expense. Some permanent filters have a five-year warranty and some are for the lifetime of a unit. Commercial filters may be limited to 10 years. Replacement filters are good for a month to three months.

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