When it comes to furnace filters, the rule of thumb for many HVAC professionals is “the cheaper the better.”

Don’t believe it?  Read on…

HVAC systems are not designed to improve air quality in the home, and filters are important to keep the furnace and air conditioner working properly.  Cheap fiberglass filters are designed to stop dust, debris and hair from gunking up the system. While they do little to filter out allergens and other irritants, using them keeps your HVAC system clean and efficient.

Disposable pleated air filters are made from polyester or cotton paper.  They remove smaller particles, like spores, mites and other allergens.  However, the trade-off to cleaner air is that system performance drops with these filters. They can add more resistance to airflow, which makes the system more expensive to operate.   Pleated filters can also cause stress on the blower motor, which impacts the refrigeration in the evaporator coil, potentially causing the coil to ice up.  They are also pricier than basic fiberglass filters. 

While pleated filters will do a better job of cleaning the air than fiberglass, there are better options to clean the air efficiently without adding stress to the system.  Some examples include UV systems, electronic air cleaners and media air cleaners.

Whether you opt for fiberglass or decide to go with pleated, the most important thing that you can do is to change the filters often.  A clean filter will not only allow your furnace and A/C to operate at peak performance, thus saving you money on energy bills, but it will also prolong the life of your furnace. 

For more information on how to keep your indoor air fresh and clean, and to hear more about keeping your HVAC system running efficiently, call TR Miller!

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