How do I select the right furnace filter?

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Spending a few dollars on the right furnace filter can help you prolong the life of your furnace and avoid spending a lot of money on a replacement. In this video, we’ll review the different types of filters and what you should keep in mind while you’re shopping for them.


Dee Fields says:

This swap out filter often is the real deal. In my first townhouse, I knew nothing about filter replacement and my furnace died in 8 years (I was the original owner). The guy who came to the townhouse to find out why we had no heat pulled the nastiest filter you never want to see out of the furnace and asked when was the last time I changed it and I said, "never. I didn't know I had to." He went on and explained I caused an early failure of the furnace and with the new one to change it every season.

When we sold that townhouse to relocate, we bought another townhouse. Like clockwork, I replaced the furnace's filter every season. A previous HVAC contract company suggested I change it every 2 months, so I did. This, like the other townhouse's furnace, was builder grade. I have a new HVAC maintenance contract company for a couple years now and we really like them. Unfortunately, 2 weeks ago they gave us bad news that the furnace had a crack in it. The looked confused (just a tad). He asked how old is the house, I said 16 years. He said "oh, you must not have been the original owners." Now I was confused as to why he would leap to such a statement. I said, "we are the original owners." He asked if we ever replaced that furnace. I said, "Yes. Every 2 to 3 months, like clockwork."

He went on to tell me he's been installing furnaces and he's never seen one last past 12 years. He then pointed his flashlight into the duct work and said, did anyone ever clean this? I said, "No." He said there is barely any dirt in there. Can you see that? I said yes. He then advised me that I needed a furnace, but no duct cleaning and to stay with builder grade as we are doing fine, unless we want some feature not in a builder grade furnace. We kept with builder grade.

This is not a conspiracy theory from filter corporations to sell more filters. This is not a conspiracy act to sell me expensive furnaces. Do you ever say when things in your house breaks, one after another, "we can't win for nothing?" I can't say that anymore. 🙂 If it had to fail, we got our break. 🙂 We spent far less than half of what normal furnace replacements costs.

True, I didn't go cheap on the filter either, but I bought them in bulk which redused that cost. I'm just now learning that it could be that I can rinse the filter instead? I will definitely look into that.

Rescue3EMS says:

Many people listening to this advise will be clueless that what he is telling you to do may cost you hundreds to thousands in repairs on your HVAC system. You should not go more then MERV 6. The filter is NOT, NOT , NOT for filtering your air for breathability. It is for keeping your HVAC unit from getting particle damage. You should use more then the cheapest filter but no more the MERV 6. WHY?????? Most systems will have increased amp-ridge, increased heat and possible freezing up of ac units in system. This causes reduced efficiency and increased heat damage to system Reason being is the unit gets undue increased work load attempting to pull air through the denser filters. This can cause you SIGNIFICANT repair bills. You are better off just buying 2 20" box fans and 2 20"x20"x1" MERV 11-13 filters and places filters with arrow in direction of air flow on back of fans. The fan sucks it to back so no fasteners required. Place them in a couple key areas in the house and good to go. For $25.00 or less each you have 2 EXTREMELY high performance particle filter systems and won't damage your Central HVAC system. HIS ADVICE IS VERY BAD. IT IS A PLOY to get more money. HOWEVER, the fact is it will still give them money my way. None the less save you MANY bucks in damage down the road.

James Chuaycham ป้อม ศักดิ์ชัย says:

I used silver Silver Ranger 82 Electrostatic Air Filter from a company in LV, NV but my home is always dusty.  After a few years, the frame 1/2" is broken due to tight room to insert after each clean.  I didn't realize I should have clean it monthly – maybe it is a reason why my home is dusty but we only use AC/heater when needed.   However our home is always dusty and we see a lot of lint like particles. 

Jose Carbo says:

The way to really know if your filter ids working is to see results. What I mean is …..When you clean and dust your home, do you see dust on your furniture 2 or 3 days later? If you do ,then your filter is not doing it's job and you need to fire them. Check out my video below and see the salt test.

Gunnar says:

Well first you need to know some scientific things about your system in order to make that decision. You need to use tools and knowledge from trade in order to make that decision. You need to use a magnahelic gauge to test static pressure of the system with and without a pleated filter. Need to take temperature rise with and without the pleated filter. Need to test superheat of the air conditioning system with and without pleated filter. And run an amp draw test on the blower motor with and wit

davidjuliowang says:

My family uses "The Web Plus ; Permanent Electrostatic Filter". We simply rinse the filter once a month in the bathtub, dry it and reuse.
It cost us between $30-$40 and we've had it for years with no complaints.

According to the packaging, first the microorganisms and particles pass through a positively charged first layer of the filter, then they pass through a second layer (don't know function), then they pass through a third negatively charged layer which traps the positively charged dust.

Gunnar says:

Pleated filters also strain blower motors, overheat furnaces and reduce efficiency of air conditioners and are the leading cause of furnace and a/c breakdown. If you want a high merv value and still get proper air flow, a high efficiency air cleaning system is required. Your friendly neighborhood hvac tech.

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