If your furnace accepts only 1″ filters, is important that you chose the right replacement filter for your furnace. Choosing the wrong filter can lead to high utility costs, poor air circulation, and damage to your heating and cooling equipment.
Here’s the quick answer, chose the cheapest pleated air filter you can buy. The keyword here is “pleated”. Cheap pleated air filters can be found at your local hardware store for about $2-$4.
The absolute cheapest filter on the market, made of blue fiberglass, does not do an adequate job of capturing enough dust particles to keep your furnace clean. So stay away from this filter.
The more expensive filters that assist with removal of allergens are not good for your furnace either. These filters do a great job of filtering your air, but are also known as “furnace killers”. Because the filters do such a good job filtering the air, they also restrict the airflow. Restricting the airflow will cause the furnace’s operating temperature to increase. In addition, the furnace’s circulating fan has to work harder, causing more electricity to be used. This can also shorten the life of the furnace fan.
An airflow restriction can be even more costly during air conditioning season. The outdoor compressor relies on the furnace blower to adequately blow air over the evaporator coil. Restricted airflow can lead to air conditioner compressor damage.
The best way to clean your air, without worrying about an airflow restriction, is to have either a 4″ air cleaner installed, or a bypass HEPA cleaner.
I prefer to install a 4″ media air cleaner that accepts filters that are readily available at any local hardware store. Many major HVAC manufacturers attempt to lock in a customers’ repeat business, by offering an air cleaner that only accepts brand specific filters. When the customer needs a new filter, they need to contact a dealer or order the special filters online. I would much rather my customers have no trouble obtaining replacement filters for their furnace.
The other option is a bypass HEPA cleaner, which mounts to the ductwork and is a supplement to a 1″ or 4″ air filter system. Replacement filters for bypass HEPA air cleaners are not yet available at local hardware stores, and are only available through dealers or online. However, serious allergy sufferers can certainly benefit from the power of a whole house HEPA air cleaner.
Another way to ensure good indoor air quality is to have an air exchanger installed in your home. An air exchanger provides a continuous supply of outdoor air to your home, while at the same time expelling stale air. Today’s air exchangers can be equipped with a HEPA filter, ensuring that no allergens are introduced into you airstream. A popular air exchanger is the Venmar HEPA 4100.
For more information about keeping your indoor air clean, feel free to contact me at 651-775-1312 or by e-mail at email@example.com