"I'm very strict about changing my furnace filters every month," says Cade McDonald, long-time allergy sufferer and founder of AchooAllergy.com. "It helps me breathe and sleep better. It's really the only systematic way to clean all the air in your home. HEPA air purifiers are more efficient, but they can only clean the air in one room at a time."If your home has a boiler and radiators, then you probably don't have to worry about changing furnace filters - because there's no place to put them. However, most modern Heating Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems have a slot for an air filter. Changing these filters frequently is the easiest, most cost-effective way to improve the air quality in your home.
Why You Need To Change Your Furnace Filter on Time
It can be easy to forget to change your furnace filter on time. Often, the furnace filter is out of view and therefore out of mind. If you live in an apartment, you may not even know where your HVAC filter is located. If that's the case, find it now! Call your leasing office and ask if necessary. Furnace filters play a key role in maintaining healthy indoor air quality.
If you have allergies, you need a high efficiency furnace filter to capture allergens like dust, pollen, and mold. You must change the filter often to prevent a build-up of particles. Mold and bacteria can grow on filters if they're not changed frequently.
Changing your filter on time also saves you money. Over time, dust and other particles clog the filter, and the HVAC system has to work harder to push the air through the filter. Frequent filter changes will reduce stress on the motor, save you money on your power bill, and increase the lifespan of your HVAC system.
Standard Furnace Filters vs. High Efficiency Furnace Filters
Inexpensive, fiberglass filters remove only large airborne particles that could damage the HVAC system. If you want to remove smaller allergens from your air supply, then you need a High Efficiency Furnace Filter. High efficiency filters remove allergens like pollen, mold, pet dander, and dust. 3M Filtrete Furnace filters are some of the most popular, disposable filters we sell. Unlike traditional disposable filters, 3M uses a new MPR (micro-particle rating) to determine levels of efficiency for particles smaller than those often measured with traditional MERV ratings. In the short term this makes it a little tricky to compare filters, but as we receive new test information, we update our pages to keep you as well informed as possible.
AllergyZone Furnace Filters have the highest MERV rating available. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Report Value, and it reports a filter's ability to capture allergen-sized particles. The higher the MERV rating, the better the filter is at capturing allergens.
It's no surprise that AllergyZone Furnace Filters offer the highest MERV rating, as the company was founded by a practicing allergist. With their patented, pleated design, AllergyZone Furnace Filters trap over 90% of allergens. We recommend changing the disposable AllergyZone filters once a month during the warmer months, and at least once every three months during the winter. We also recommend ordering in bulk to save money on shipping.
Many people prefer permanent furnace filters like Newtron Contractor's Choice Permanent Air Filters. These permanent filters have very low air flow resistance, which increases the efficiency of your HVAC system. When it's time to clean the filters, simply remove them, take them outdoors, and squirt them off with a hose. The Contractor's Choice electrostatic filters are not as good as the AllergyZone filters when it comes to eliminating allergens, but they offer superb air filtration and feature an antimicrobial agent that prevents the build-up of germs, bacteria, mold, and mildew. New Contractor's Choice Permanent Air Filters come with a 10-year warranty and won't need to be replaced every three months.
For enhanced air filtration, use the charged Web Vent Filters. They fit right over vents to reduce the dust in your home, and they remain effective for 90 days. For a more permanent but slightly less effective filter, the Permatron vent filter is made from the same washable filter media as the traditional Permatron filter. So, while you give up a little in terms of particle filtration, you get a more long term, cost effective solution.
How To Change Your Furnace Filter
Turn off the power to the furnace fan at the main circuit breaker. Always be safe!
Find your current furnace filter and remove it. It should be behind a panel that either slides off or unscrews.
If you know the size of the filter, write down the dimensions, if not, simply measure the filter.
Immediately put your old filter in a garbage bag and get it out of the house to prevent the spread of allergens.
Before installing the new filter, look for the airflow arrows that tell you how to correctly position the filter. Installing backwards can decrease efficiency.
Slide the new filter into place and put the cover back in place.
Turn the power back on, smile, and take a deep breath of clean air!
For more information on How to Select the Right Furnace Filter.