HVAC Furnace Air Filters – 5 Things You Must Know Before Buying
The selection of the air filter that you purchase directly affects the quality of your home’s air and the health of those that live there. Don’t worry, by the end of this article you will know how to find a filter that saves you money and improves the quality of air in your home.
1. Performance and Your Health
A high quality air filter can eliminate dust, dust mites, mold, mold spores, mildew, pet dander, pollen, smoke particles, allergens and other airborne particulates by over 97%. A cheap fiberglass filter may be so ineffective that it filters out as little as 10% of the particles you breath, but shouldn’t.
We know that outdoor air pollution can damage our health, but EPA studies show that indoor air pollutant levels may be 2-5 times higher, and on occasion, more than 100 times higher than outdoor levels. One of the most important technological advances in high efficiency air filters is electrostatic charged synthetic media. It is able to attract dust, pollen and other pollutants, like a magnet. The electrostatic media makes the filter anti-allergenic and prevents the growth of mold or bacteria. This advancement means that air filters can actually outperform the all-important MERV 12 standard for efficiency, and do so without the use of harsh chemicals!
This makes MERV 12 the perfect filter for people with allergies, asthma or other breathing disorders. A poor quality air filtration media can easily aggravate asthma and other allergies, especially in children. Maybe you don’t have allergies or a respiratory condition, but do you really want to be sleeping and living in a home whose air is teeming with contaminants that could be removed? Probably not. Another important consideration is that you could go through 50 or more air filters during the life of your heating and air conditioning unit.
Buying your filters in bulk and having them shipped directly from the factory cuts out the costs of a retail store and is a key to big savings. One reason is that you aren’t paying the middleman’s costs such as stocking and displaying the filter in a retail store like Target or Home Depot. Also, money isn’t wasted on expensive marketing and labels. Furthermore, the leading brand filters like Filtrete are most often individually wrapped instead of sold in large quantities. One more way to save on air filters is to find an efficient company that can cut costs by avoiding excessive inventory and custom-build filters if needed.
Using quality air filters and replacing them regularly is one of the best ways to protect against poor indoor air quality. You should also change your filters because as dirt and particulates build-up, they will block air flow. This causes your heating and air conditioning system to waste energy and break down more rapidly. So don’t take a chance on letting your HVAC system suck up energy and your hard-earned money. The best air filters exceed the MERV 12 standard and also have an efficient low air flow resistance.
Depending on factors like the size of your home, if you have pets, how often you run your fan, etc., air filters may need to be changed anywhere from every month to every 3 months. Many HVAC experts recommend changing air filters every month for efficiency and in order to extend the life of the furnace system.
4. Automated Reminder Service
What good is selecting the right filter if you aren’t reminded when to change it. When you need to change a car oil filter a light goes on, not so with an air filter. Yet, air filters must be replaced at the proper time for optimal performance. It’s worth the trouble to find a high quality air filtration company that will send you a reminder every 30, 60 or 90 days, and which also tells you the filter size you need to order. Being able to view your invoices online is also a great feature to look for when comparing manufacturers.
5. Free Shipping
When you buy in bulk and directly from the factory you can not only save on the per unit cost, but some companies will offer free shipping. If you are truly buying from a manufacturer, the savings can sometimes be as high as $17 or more over leading brands. So, can you really expect to get a great deal on superb air filters, shipped directly to your door, and be set for at least 6 months with healthy air? In a word, yes. Ordering factory direct is a real no-brainer for anyone that wants to save time and money.
Two of the most common things I hear from owners of high quality, factory direct filters are, how good the air smells and how much healthier it is for their family. In closing, if you have a furnace air filter and want to save money and improve your health, follow the 5 guidelines listed above.