Choosing the right furnace air filters for your furnace

The choice of which furnace air filters to buy for your furnace depends on many things. How much you want to spend, what you’re trying to filter, and how diligent you are about changing the filter are all considerations.

The minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) scale goes from 1 to 16. Most residential filters range from 4 to 12. Furnace manufacturers prefer the traditional spun fiberglass ac filters (MERV 2). These filter out enough of the large particles to protect the furnace while providing maximum airflow. Maintaining the furnace manufacturer’s specified airflow is critical to achieving energy efficiency and maximum life from the blower motor and heat exchanger. An inexpensive MERV 4 filter captures 80 percent of the particles 50 microns and larger, but only 25 percent of the particles in the 3 to 10 micron range.

Finding the best HVAC air filters for home

For most homeowners, a more expensive MERV 7 or 8 pleated filters provides a good balance between cost and filtration efficiency. These filters trap 80 to 95 percent of the particles 5 microns and larger—more than enough filtration for most households.

Furnace efficiency is one thing however, if you have family members with allergies or low-immunity issues then you may want to spend more on a high-efficiency (MERV 11 and higher) filter. Then just make sure you stay on top of filter changes to protect your furnace.

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