With heating season lurking beyond summer’s impending end, it’s time to start thinking about your furnace. One of the most important furnace-maintenance tasks is filter upkeep, as your furnace filter has a direct and significant impact on the efficiency of your furnace as well as the indoor air quality in your home. Thus, choosing the right filter for your furnace is a very important part of system maintenance. There are four basic types of furnace filters on the market: Panel filters. These filters are designed to protect your furnace’s inner fan and keep dust from building up on the furnace heating coil, but they are not particularly effective at neutralizing airborne dust particles. They are an inexpensive option but are best used only if you have a separate indoor air quality system in place in your home. Reusable filters. Excellent if you want an affordable option that offers extended life, reusable filters need to be cleaned regularly since they will create resistance in system airflow if particles are allowed to build up. Pleated filters. Pleated and high-efficiency pleated air filters have broader surface areas which allow them to trap greater quantities of dust. They must be cleaned regularly to avoid the impedance of airflow. HEPA filters. “High-efficiency particulate air” filters offer the best protection against airborne particles but aren’t configured to fit most furnaces and usually must be installed with a separate fan and filter housing that attaches to your heating system. When selecting a filter, pay close attention to its MERV rating. “MERV” stands for “minimum efficiency reporting value,” and it expresses how adept a given filter is at trapping particulate matter and air pollutants. In general, the higher the MERV rating, the better the filter is at trapping even the smallest particles. If you need help sizing your furnace filter or selecting the right type for your needs, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Pipe Works Services. We’re the New Jersey plumbing, heating, and cooling experts, and we’re happy to help customers in Essex, Somerset, Union, and Morris Counties tackle problems large and small. Our goal is to help educate our customers about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace filters and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide. Pipe Works Services serves Chatham, NJ, and the surrounding areas. Visit our website to see our special offers and get started today!