Ah, it’s the season in the Decatur, AL area to stay indoors more often. If you’re lucky, your home or office won’t have too many allergens or other issues arising from a dirty furnace filter, or the wrong filter for your furnace.

Wait, how do you know if you’re having issues? A dirty or incorrect furnace filter can lead to the following issues:

  1. Increased allergens (and symptoms!) in your home.
  2. A shorter furnace life.
  3. More wear and tear on your furnace.
  4. A furnace that runs for longer than it used to.
  5. Higher electric bills.

These reasons are why it’s important to change your furnace filter regularly. But what about ensuring you have the right filter? If you have a new furnace or one that you’re not used to, you may be wondering if you’re buying the right filter for your HVAC system. Here are some things to look for:

  1. Find the right size. If you’ve ever shopped for furnace filters, you’ll notice that there are different sizes. Furnace filters have a cardboard frame in which three numbers will be printed. These numbers stand for thickness, height, and width. To find the right size, pull out your old furnace filter and look for these numbers. Most filters are an inch thick, represented by the 1. Common heights and widths are 14 x 20 x 1, 16 x 20 x 1, or 20 x 20 x 1. Write down this number, which will help later. Many other sizes exist. Look for your filter size at the store.
  2. Look at the MERV rating for allergen control. If you’re interested in using your furnace to help fight allergens in your home, check the MERV rating. These ratings typically go from 4 on up, and the higher the number, the smaller the particles your filter can trap, and the more allergens it will take from the air. Also be sure to find a filter that isn’t easy to look through. A thicker filter will do a better job at protecting your furnace (and you!)
  3. Consider pleated filters. These filters use an electrostatic charge to capture particles and keep them out of your system, thus cutting down on allergens and dust.
  4. How many filters do you need? It’s a good rule of thumb to change your furnace filter every few months at the least, or more if you’re dealing with a high filter workload. Consider purchasing multipacks of filters, as this may save on costs. Also note that some occasional systems may require more than one filter to be placed at a time for full protection.
  5. Need extra filtration? Special furnace filters exist to deal with allergens such as pet hair or dander, so if you have pets and deal with allergies, consider these options while shopping. You can also order professional furnace filters that have larger-than-normal volume to capture extra particles. Another more expensive option is to get a reusable electrostatic filter, which you’ll need to clean with pressurized water every so often.

Have Questions? If you’re interested in upgrading your filter system for your furnace, or if you have any concerns about your furnace health in general, don’t hesitate to contact us at Southeastern Mechanical Services today.