While you might assume that air filters for the furnace and filters for other systems are different, they are actually the same. You can purchase furnace air filters from a reliable supplier and also use them for a full range of accompanying air systems. The only change is where the air filters go, but that does not mean that the furnace the furnace is any less important for your home. In fact, furnace filters are incredibly important due to their position. The filters require your attention, they need maintenance to avoid any issues from cropping up over time.
What Does the Furnace Filter Do?
Your furnace filters will complete the same functions they would have in any other air system: cleaning up incoming airflow. The only difference is that the air coming through the filter becomes heated before it is cleaning and distribution. Your home then benefits from the increase in temperature without having any irritants or allergens burdening indoor air quality. Your filters consist of a tight mesh weaving that is capable of capturing and absorbing passing irritants, but they will eventually become dirty.
The Problem with Dirty Furnace Filters
The furnace filters in your home are at their best when they are clean and new. Air passes through them without issue while pathogens, contagions, dust, dirt, sand, mold, bacteria, viruses, allergens or pollutants are kept out. However, the captured particles begin to build up over time and eventually fill the mesh weaving. Dirty furnace filters are a problem, both for the system they are in and for your home as a whole.
Furnace filters are different from filters in other systems, mainly because they primarily filter heated airflow. When this airflow becomes blocked then that means that the heat that needed release remains inside and causes a rise in temperature. The lack of heated airflow also causes temperature fluctuations throughout your home. Your furnace system will also try to push airflow through the blockage, leading to the increasing risk of mechanical failure and increased energy billing.
Furnace Filter Effectiveness
Your furnace filter’s tight mesh weaving is rated using the MERV scale to see how effective it is. MERV, or Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, is based on mesh tightness and the higher the rating the more effective the filter. However, higher MERV ratings also mean that the air filters become dirtier faster as more irritants are captured at a faster rate. Furnace filters are best made with a balanced rating that allows airflow to pass through naturally but not without being reasonably cleaned. Regardless of MERV rating, your air filters will eventually require maintenance.
Replacing Your Furnace Filter
Commonly, your furnace filters go in between where the incoming airflow becomes heated and the blower fan that distributes it. When the filters become dirty, you are able to take it out and read the size for its replacement off of the cardboard edge. Your new air filters are usable upon delivery, so it is in your best interest to order them before the dirty air filters become a problem for your home.