The holidays have gone and 2016 is upon us. Once the tree is packed up and the parties are done it’s time to think about one thing that is forgotten by most home owners.
Well it’s your furnace filter of course. Your furnace being so important to the heating and cooling of you home during the summer and winter months are often overlooked
until it breaks down.
One question I get asked often is what type of filter should I get? Well it really depends on what type of filter you have in it now and how much protection you need in your
home. Filters are rated on a MERV scale (minimum efficiency reporting value) and range from 1 through 16. Most residential furnaces range from 4 to 12 MERVs. Your furnace
manufacturer usually will recommend a 4 MERV rated fiberglass spun filter to keep the furnace manufacturer’s specified airflow criteria and to achieve energy efficiency and
maximum life from the blower motor and heat exchanger. These inexpensive MERV 4 filters capture 80 percent of the particles 50 microns and larger, but only 25 percent of the
particles in the 3 to 10 micron range. These filters should be replaced every month. We at Aardvark Heating and Cooling DO NOT RECOMMEND these filters and you should change
them to a pleated filter which will last longer; they are better for your family, and you don’t have to change them monthly which someone could easily forget to do.
Our recommendation for better protection is the more expensive MERV 7 or 8 pleated filter which will provide a good balance between cost and filtration efficiency. These
filters trap 80 to 95 percent of the particles 5 microns and larger—more than enough filtration for most households. These filters should be replaced approximately every 3 months.
Consult with your HVAC technician on the make and model of what pleated filter you should be using. Some have a tight pleat which can cause airflow issues.
If you have someone with allergies or just want your home cleaner you can upgrade to a MERV 11 or higher rated filter. High-efficiency filters capture 99 percent of airborne
particles as small as 0.3 microns (bacteria and viruses, fumes and pollen). You will have to run your furnace fan full time to get the maximum benefit from a high-efficiency
filter, and that will cost more. These filters will vary on replacement depending on your furnace setup and changes made by your HVAC professional.
Never switch from a fiberglass filter to a high-efficiency filter without first talking to your HVAC technician. Your HVAC technician can boost fan speed to compensate for
the reduced airflow. A clogged filter can burn out the blower motor, damage the heat exchanger and cost you hundreds of dollars in wasted energy.
If you need to purchase any filters or need to schedule an appointment to have your furnace checked, we at Aardvark Heating and Cooling are here to serve the Boise, Meridian Nampa,
Caldwell, and the rest of the Treasure Valley in Idaho. You can contact us at 208-344-4863.