Furnace Filters | Types, Selection and Cleaning

Filters help a great deal not only in combating the dust and dander in the home but also in saving you from several kinds of allergies. This way, while on one hand, your Furnace feels pleasant and operate efficiently, on the other hand, you and your family can get rid of stale indoor air.
All homeowners use one or the other kind of Furnace filters, however, not all of them experience the same results. This has to do with three things;

- Furnace Filter type: There are a number of different Furnace Filters available. If your neighbours are using an electrostatic filter which is several times efficient than a simple paper filter which you use, you should simply not expect the same results

- Maintenance and Replacement: Other than the efficiency of the filter, maintenance and replacement matters. If the filter is not cleaned (in case of mechanical filter type) or not replaced (in case of paper filter type), the dirt and debris hinder the mechanism of the filter by partially or completely blocking the passage of air.

- Compatibility: The third Furnace Filter related reason why people having the same Furnace systems do not enjoy the same efficiency is the compatibility issue. Most often, people choose the wrong filter type. Either too ordinary to suit their extremely efficient Furnace system or too highly efficient to not remain compatible with the system. In this case, an efficiency or IAQ drop is usually experienced.

To make all equations right, here are come compact suggestions from our side.


Furnace Filter | Types and Selection

As said, there are multiple types of filters. You should choose one according to your system's efficiency. The Mechanical Type filters are usually made up of fibre and can't be washed. They are instead replaced after every 3-6 months. If you don't have allergies and live in a relatively cleaner vicinity, the paper filter can suffice for you. But be sure to change it regularly.

There's another type called the Electrostatic type. The polyester strands in these filters get electrically charged as air passes through them. These charged strands then attract dust and debris. While this type of filter is very efficient, it needs regular cleaning; usually after 3 months in peak season and after 6 months in case of relatively less use.

And even higher degree filter is the Electronic Type Furnace Filters. In this type, the electrically charged wires attract dust and debris towards them. But due to its very high MERV rating, these types of filters get dirty very easily. Having such a kind of filter installed, expect a weekly cleaning. Or maybe even more frequently.

Let's talk about the most efficient type of filter with up to 99% efficiency. Super efficient and very expensive, these filters are suitable for high-sanitary places like hospitals, labs etc. Although usually not recommended for homes, they can be used at homes in special cases where there are people with terminal illnesses or severe allergies.

Furnace Filters | Cleaning

The ordinary paper filters cannot be cleaned. They are cheap, available at $2-$3 and need replacement after 3-6 months. The electronic and electrostatic filters, however, need cleaning as early as they get dirty.
How to Clean:
Take lukewarm tap water in a tub and soak them in it. Use a soft brush to remove clogged dust and debris. In case you attempt to use any detergents, make sure it's safe to use on filters.

An important precaution: Do not use the filters after washing until they become completely dry.