Furnace Filter Basics: Learn What You Need to Know About This Nifty Device

by Greg Leisgang on January 30, 2013

Posted in: Indoor Air Quality

furnace filter basics, West Chester, OhioChecking and replacing the air filter in your furnace is a very simple task, but the benefits cannot be overstated. The air in your Cincinnati home contains particles including dust, bacteria, viruses, mold and pollen. Your air filter traps many of these particles, keeping your family healthier and helping to reduce allergies and asthma flare-ups. The filter also protects your furnace against dust buildup, which can damage your fan and heat exchanger and result in expensive repair bills. A clean filter will keep your system operating efficiently and keep your energy bills in check. These furnace filter basics will help you maintain good indoor air quality and protect your furnace from damage.

Choosing a filter
Furnace filters are rated on the minimum efficiency reporting value, or MERV, scale. Higher MERV ratings mean better filters that trap more and smaller particles. MERV 1-4 filters are inexpensive and do little to improve the indoor air quality in your home. MERV 5-8 filters are of medium quality and are sufficient for most residential applications. MERV 9-12 filters are of higher quality and are ideal for those who suffer from allergies and asthma. MERV 13-16 filters are the highest-quality filters available and are generally only used in commercial buildings. 

Check the specs of your system before upgrading your furnace filter. Higher MERV filters can impede the flow of air to some systems, making the furnace work harder and possibly causing it to overheat. Balancing air-cleaning qualities with optimum airflow is essential when choosing a filter.

Changing your filter
Check your air filter every month and replace it when it's dirty. To replace your filter, remove the old one and slide in the clean filter with the arrows on the filter frame pointing in the direction of the airflow. 

For more expert advice about furnace filter basics, including choosing the right filter for your system, please feel free to contact us at Tri-County Heating & Cooling. We've served Butler County and the Greater Cincinnati area with honesty and integrity since 1969. 

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