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Popular Furnace Filter Sizes & Makes
What you might not know about filters
Most people pay little attention to their HVAC system. As long as it’s keeping them warm during winter and cool during summer, why worry about it? We get it. Beautiful moldings and casements, or even bigger investments like new roofing and windows can make a dramatic difference. But there can be real impact with small things, and choosing the right filter is one of them.
Indoor air quality is important to your health and maintaining your home's hvac system is key. It is important to change your filter regularly. There are numerous furnace filter choices out there. Selecting a incorrect filter can cause more harm to your furnace than good. It could actually result in the furnace breaking down.
How does the HVAC system work?
A conventional HVAC system sucks air in through its return ducts. The blower fan in your furnace pushes the heated or cooled air through the duct system that branches off throughout the various areas of your home. Thermostat settings determine whether warm or cool air will be delivered through your ducting.
The filter peforms a dual function by protecting the blower-fan from airborne debris such as hair, dust and other particles which the return duct sucks in. It also assists in preventing airborne particles from being re-circulated into the home. Many people believe that a HVAC furnace filter is made to clean the air in your home, which it does not. This was never the original intent. Under normal operating conditions, it is recommend that you change your HVAC furnace filter every three months. How will forgetting to change your air filter affect you, your family and anyone else who enters your home?
MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. MERV Ratings vary between 1 and 16. As the rating increases, the fewer the number of particles that will be able to pass through the filter media.
Filters with higher ratings may not be the right choice. A filter with a high Merv rating may force your furnace to work harder, become less efficient and cost more to operate. A MERV rating between 8 and 11 is sufficient for most homes. To be on the safe side, check with your furnace manufacturer or service technician in canada to determine the best furnace filter for your system.
Five types of filters commonly used in our homes.
High Efficiency Pleated
Generally chosen by most homeowners. They are available in an array of sizes, as well as merv ratings. Pleated filters are made with synthetic material, eliminating moisture buildup and the growth of mold. They perform very well, filtering out household allergens and particles. The pleats are evenly spaced to provide efficient airflow. The pleat material is fixed to a rigid grid to keep the pleats in place and provide good durability. The price of pleated filters varies, depending on size, brand and rating. They should be checked monthly for any blockages and replaced every 90 days. They are economical and can be manufactured from green materials. A good choice for those who have respiratory problems or looking for overall improved indoor air.
These are the least expensive filters available. They have a "spider-web" like appearance and are typically blue in color. Available in an array of standard sizes and are more delicate, as well as having a lower merv rating than pleated filters. These disposable filters must be frequently checked and often need to be changed monthly.
Washable filters are made with either a plastic, or aluminum frame. They can be vacuumed and cleaned with water. Available in a multiple of sizes, as well as different merv ratings. They're more expensive, but can last up to five years, which would make them a good economical solution. Proper maintenance is required and they should be cleaned every 90 days.
This type of filter has electrically charged fibers that catch contaminants as they pass through the media. Good for homes that have pets or tobacco smoke. Check your electrostatic furnace manual to make sure that your system is suitable to operate electrostatic filters safely.
These filters have self charging cotton fibers that attract particles. They have a detachable, machine washable filter that can be re-used for up to 8 years.
Common furnace filter sizes
Furnace filters are sized, based on depth (thickness), length and height. The most prevalent thickness is around 1 inch, with 4 inch also serving as a popular choice on larger systems. Length and height combos range from 10x10 inches to 30x30 inches. The most common available sizes are 14 x 20 x 1, 16 x 20 x 1, 20 x 25 x 1 16 x 25 x 3 and 24 x 24 x 4. To determine the size of your furnace filter, remove and examine the existing one to be replaced, or refer your furnace manual.