Choosing A Furnace Air Filter & How Often To Change Them

September 30, 2019

Choosing The Best Furnace Air Filter For Your Home 

All furnaces need the proper amount of airflow in order to work efficiently and filters play a big part in that process. Filters are designed to block airborne particles, such as dust and mold from entering the living areas of a home. There are so many different types of filters to choose from today, that it can get confusing for homeowners when deciding which ones are the best to buy. 
 

Different Types Of Furnace Air Filters 

Fiberglass Filters 

Fiberglass filters are the most commonly used in homes today and the least expensive to purchase. Created from spun strands of fiberglass material, this type of filter is very effective at catching larger particles in the air, such as lint and dirt. These filters are normally sold in bulk packs, which gives homeowners the opportunity to keep several months’ worth of them on hand. Fiberglass filters do not purify the air however, like their more expensive counterparts are able to do. 
 

Pleated Filters 

Pleated filters are considered an upgrade from standard fiberglass filters. Pleated filters not only trap dust and lint from entering a home’s ventilation system, but also certain allergens, such as dust mites and pet dander. One downside of these filters is that they tend to make furnaces work harder in order to push air throughout the house. Using a filter with tight fibers can lead to premature wear on furnace components and an overall loss of efficiency. If a homeowner however is more concerned about their indoor air quality, pleated filters are a great way to go. 
 

Electrostatic Filters   

Electrostatic filters are designed to trap specific allergens from entering a home’s ventilation system. Created from both cotton and paper, these filters produce a static charge that is very effective at capturing air particles that cause allergic reactions in people and pets. Electrostatic filters are more expensive, but they play a big part in helping homeowners control their indoor air quality all year long. 
 

Furnace Air Filter Sizes

Installing the correct air filter is very important in order for a furnace to operate at peak performance. The wrong filter in a heating system can lead to restricted airflow, as well as the possibility of lint, dust and other particles being released into the home’s living spaces. 
 
Filters come in many different sizes today, but here are some of the most 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 furnace instruction manual will tell you the proper filter size to use. In addition, this information is usually displayed on the information sticker attached to the heating unit itself. 

How Often To Replace A Furnace Filter 

There is no one single answer to this question, but industry professionals have given us some good guidelines to follow. Less expensive, fiberglass filters should be changed every 30-60 days, depending on the environmental conditions of the home. If pets or smokers are present in the house, then a fiberglass filter should be changed monthly. Higher quality filters can last up to 180 days, but should be checked about every 3 months or so. Another good rule of thumb is that if you notice that your furnace filter is dirty, change it! 

Contact Us Today 

For many years, the professionals at PSEG Worry Free Long Island have provided the best HVAC services that the industry has to offer. Should the time come that you need heating or air conditioning system repair, replacement or maintenance, we are here to help. If you are concerned about the condition of your furnace air filters, give us a call right away. We will send out one of our friendly technicians to inspect them and resolve any issues right away. Let us put our knowledge and experience to work for you! 


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