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.
Air Filter Quality Rating Chart
When choosing the quality of air conditioning filter, Consideration be given to both the air pollution sources in your home as well as any allergy concerns your family may face.
Basic allergy + dust
Heigh allergy + dust
How To Choose an Air Filter
Wondering which air filter is right for you? Our easy to use filter comparison chart will help you figure out the best filter for your home. The heigher the MERV Rating of the air filter you select,the more dust,allergens and irritants will be filtered out of your air. If you have pets and family members with asthma or allergies, you should select a heigher quality filter. Additionally, if you live in dusty or heighly polluted area , you will want a filter that most effectively cleans your home's air.Indoor air pollution can be greatly reduced by selecting a heigher quality air filter, which will effectively filter upto 95% of common pollution sources in the air your family breathes.
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 Canadian 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 mould. 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", with 4" also serving as a popular choice. Length and height combos range from 10x10 inches to 30x30 inches. The most common available sizes are 14x20x1 , 16x20x1 , 16x25x1 and 16x25x4.
To determine the size of your furnace filter, remove and examine the existing one to be replaced, or refer to your furnace manual.