Free Info on the Best Furnace Filters: Furnace Filter Buying Guide

Are you looking for the best furnace filters this winter for your home furnace?  Well, we have done some research and here is our Furnace Filter Buying Guide. With the right furnace filter you can help to keep your HVAC running better, for longer, while making the air in your home healthier. While furnace filters can have a lot of upside, if not used properly, a furnace filter will actually hinder the passage of air or facilitate the introduction of dust and other allergens.


furnace filter buying guideIn general, furnace filters clean dust, dirt and debris from the air stream that passes through an HVAC system. Keeping such particles out of the furnace improves indoor air quality while protecting and extending the life of the furnace motor and internal components. Allergen reduction filters, such as those we offer, include the added benefit of filtering allergen particles from the air. With the right furnace filter you can help to keep your HVAC running better, for longer, while making the air in your home healthier. While furnace filters can have a lot of upside, if not used properly, a furnace filter will actually hinder the passage of air or facilitate the introduction of dust and other allergens into your home environment. To avoid this, it’s important to remember to change your filter regularly if it’s a disposable kind. Or, clean it if it’s permanent style HVAC filter. When used as part of an overall strategy, furnace filters are an effective way to minimize the allergens in your home.


A high grade furnace filter will stop air pollutants and dust dead in their tracks from even entering your home, and indoor allergens from recirculation. Our furnace filters are about 6 times more effective than disposable furnace filters available at your hardware store. Many or our furnace filters are permanent “wash and dry” for easy, cost-free maintenance. Below we compare and summarize the pluses and minuses of our best in class furnace filters, but do not miss our product pages for more details and candid analysis, so that you can choose the best furnace filter for you.
Types of Furnace Filters


Electrostatic Furnace Filters – The electrostatic air filter is one of the most common air filters used in home furnace and air conditioner systems. It uses static electricity to remove dust particles from the air and is known for being able to remove up to 97% of allergens. This type of filter is clearly one of the better choices for those who suffer from allergies or asthma, and for those who seek a very high level of air quality. This type of filter needs to be cleaned as often as every month or as seldom as every few months. Because the replacement time varies, it’s important that you do a regular check of your filter to see if it needs to be cleaned. You or your HVAC contractor can easily clean the filter by spraying it down with a garden hose. This quick and easy maintenance of your filter can reduce your HVAC costs, as it ensures that your system is working to maximum capacity. Another great feature of the electrostatic filter is that it does not reduce air flow in your system, which is a very important factor to ensure that your system works properly. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE BEST electrostatic furnace filters delivered right to your door.


NordicPure & 3M Filtrete Pleated Furnace Filters – Pleated air filters are the most common filters used in homes and do the best job for typical air filtration needs. This type of filter is made with a material that is folded into pleats, and it provides good air flow within your HVAC system. Unless you suffer from severe allergies, a pleated air filter will do a sufficient job filtering your air. There are many different types of panel air filters available, and it’s important to keep in mind that you should stay away from disposable fiberglass types. Some people still choose these types of filters because they cost so little and because for many years they were known to do a good job. The options are so much better today that it’s almost a waste of money to buy the fiberglass types, as they are not efficient and do not filter your air properly. The pleats in filter media of HVAC filters increase the surface area, and thereby the effectiveness, where particles can be captured. All of the NordicPure and 3M filters we offer are pleated filters. The Filtrete 4″ furnace filters are also both pleated and electrostatic; Filtrete’s 4″ Media filter, however, because of its added depth, offers more surface area for capturing particles. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE BEST pleated furnace filters delivered right to your door..


HEPA – HEPA (High Efficiency Particle Arresting) air filters are a special type of pleated filters that are growing in popularity within the clean air industry, as well as with homeowners who seek an even higher level of air quality for their families. This is because HEPA filters can remove almost all allergens that pass through your HVAC system and your air. A HEPA filter can even remove mold, pollen and pet dander. The main difference between the HEPA filter and a regular pleated filter is that there are more pleats per inch of filter. Although HEPA filters are the gold standard when it comes to filters in air purifiers and vacuum cleaners, they create too much air flow resistance when it comes to furnace filters.   CLICK HERE TO SEE THE BEST HEPA furnace filters delivered right to your door.


Activated Carbon Filters – An activated carbon component in a furnace filter enables it to absorb chemicals, fumes, and odors as air passes through your HVAC system. These activate carbon Furnace Filters feature an activated carbon blend to filter out not only allergens, but hazardous chemicals as well, including formaldehyde, ozone, and VOCs. CLICK HERE TO SEE THE BEST activated carbon furnace filters delivered right to your door.


Changing Furnace Filters


Filters come with recommendations regarding how often to change them or wash them. In general, disposable furnace filters should be changed once every three months. However, during the winter and summer months when your HVAC system is running often, you may need to change filters more frequently. Similarly, if there’s a condition that would make the filters become saturated faster than usual (such as open windows during pollen season, or several pets in the household), you will need to change your filters more frequently.


Furnace Filter Sizing


Custom Furnace Filters —  There’s a wide range of furnace filter slot sizes, and most of the furnace filters we offer come in a wide variety of sizes. In addition, SafeHome Duo Filters and the SafeHome System Air Return Filters, as well as the AllergyZone, Newtron Contractor’s Choice, and Newtron Original Permanent Air Filters, are all available in custom sizes.


Furnace Filters MERV Rating


The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or MERV, is a universal standard used to compare one furnace filter’s efficiency to another’s. When a furnace filter states a MERV, it usually refers to the E3 portion of MERV, which reports a filter’s success in capturing larger particles between 3 and 10 microns. Although this is a useful rating to compare filters, it’s important to realize that for most allergy or asthma sufferers, most of the particulate you are interested in capturing is going to be much smaller than this. So while a furnace filter will not capture most submicron particles, they can effectively remove many of the particles that form dust in your home.


The tradeoff between high MERV ratings and efficiency is that sometimes a high MERV can reduce the airflow of your HVAC system. Particularly true with the Furnace Filters, this is the reason the manufacturer suggests a MERV 7 filter. Since filter sets are designed specifically to remove chemicals as well as allergens from the air, it’s necessary for airflow through the other filters to be as unimpeded as possible.


That said, when allergen reduction is the primary goal, a high MERV is generally desirable. Filtrete Furnace Filters have impressive MERV ratings: The Micro Allergen, Ultra Allergen Reduction, and Advanced Allergen filters all have MERVs of 11. The AllergyZone Furnace Filter has a MERV of 12. Lastly, the Filtrete Ultimate filter has a MERV of 12.3.
Furnace Filters MPR Rating
What is MPR?


MPR is a term used by 3M and stands for Microparticle Performance Rating. It is actually the E1 part of the MERV rating, and measures how efficient an air filter is at capturing particles between 0.3 and 1 micron in size, which make up 99% of the air’s particulate matter. Smoke, bacteria, and smog particles all fall within this size range, so if filtering these out of the air is important to you, MPR is a good criteria to consider. MPR is used to compare furnace filters to one another, and cannot accurately predict how a furnace filter will actually perform in your particular home environment. However, comparing MPRs is a good way to see the differences in efficiency between Filtrete furnace filters. The higher the MPR, the more efficient the filter is at capturing these small particles. For instance, the Filtrete Micro filters have an MPR of 1000, the Filtrete Ultra filters have an MPR of 1250, Filtrete Advanced filters, stand at 1500, and Filtrete Ultimate filters come in at a whopping 1900. The Filtrete 4″ Media Filter has an MPR of 1550.


So when choosing a furnace filter, keep in mind your needs as well as price and what features each particular style has to offer. Not all furnace filters are created equally, and just because your HVAC may be tucked away in the basement doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do what you can to keep it running efficiently and your family breathing better!


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