The type of furnace filter you select for your New Jersey home’s furnace matters as much to your furnace as to your family’s breathing comfort. You have a wide range of prices, designs, and materials to consider.
Permanent Versus Disposable
You can select a furnace filter based on its longevity. Two types of disposable filters to consider:
- Fiberglass furnace filter— this is the cheapest option. Found at big-box home improvement stores and even in grocery stores, it does almost nothing to clean your home’s air. It is intended to block only the largest airborne particles from damaging your furnace. Replace it every month.
- Electrostatic filter— this filter is made from cotton and paper fibers that attract small particles; far more efficient at improving indoor air quality than fiberglass. They also cost about ten times more but are good for homes with pets, children, or smokers.
- Permanent electrostatic furnace filter—intended to last between five and nine years, these have removable, machine-washable cotton fiber mats that attract small particles by static electricity. Initially more effective than disposable filters, they degrade a bit over time.
Permanent filters are meant to be washed and reused. With each washing, however, they lose a little effectiveness. A good example:
Choices of Efficiency
Another way to consider selecting a furnace filter is by its efficiency at blocking particles in the airflow of your home. This is measured by Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV), which guarantees the filter will block objects of a certain tiny size and larger. A typical fiberglass filter gets a MERV rating of two or three; stepping up to a pleated filter gives you MERV six. Higher numbers may affect furnace performance because an extremely efficient filter blocks so much air.
- High-efficiency pleated filter—this deep-media furnace filter requires professional installation and maintenance. It rates MERV 16 and is roughly five times thicker than disposable filters. It also costs around 100 times as much as a disposable fiberglass filter but is a better choice for cleaning your air.
For more advice on selecting the ideal furnace filter for your New Jersey home, contact us at Pipe Works Services.