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What’s the Best Furnace Air Filter for Your Home?

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Environment Masters technician changing air filter in Jackson, MS, home.

Replacing your furnace’s air filter every 30-90 days can enhance energy efficiency, improve indoor air quality, and more. Certain types of air filters can trap airborne contaminants such as pet dander, pollen, and dust. However, it’s worth noting that not all furnace filters serve the same purpose. For instance, some air filters are ideal for those with allergies and asthma, others are great for airflow, and some can do both.

It may feel daunting to find the best air filter for you. Whether you’re looking for the best filter for allergies, airflow, or overall HVAC system performance, there’s a variety to choose from—all with their own benefits and drawbacks. Let’s discuss the types of filters available in detail to help you find the best furnace air filter for your needs.

Furnace Filters & MERV Ratings

Before discussing the types of air filters, it’s essential to learn about MERV ratings. 

HVAC air filters have a Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value, or “MERV” rating, that correlates to the filter’s efficiency. The higher the MERV rating, the more efficiently and effectively the air filter traps airborne contaminants.

If you’re looking for the best furnace filter for allergies, you’ll want to find a filter with a MERV rating that’s on the higher end.

Air Filter Thickness

When shopping for filters, you should also consider a filter’s thickness. Overall, filters can range from one to six inches thick. Before buying thicker filters, check your furnace owner’s manual to see what size filters your heating system can accommodate. 

If you need help determining the right size filter for your furnace, talk to a Jackson furnace specialist.

Disposable Fiberglass Filters

If you’re looking for an air filter that’s budget-friendly, turn your sights to disposable fiberglass filters. These disposable filters effectively trap larger airborne particles such as dust and debris. With a MERV rating of two or three, these offer great airflow but are not the best furnace filter for allergies or effectively cleaning the air.

Disposable Pleated Filters

Another affordable option to consider is disposable pleated air filters. While on the cheaper end, these 1” filters can be some of the best furnace air filters for smaller particles. 

The Lennox Healthy Climate® filters are perfect for filtration and for airflow. These specialty-designed 5” MERV 13 filters and their custom cabinet are best for families with pets and subsequent pet dander, small children, or anyone suffering from allergies or asthma. They filter out 99% of dust, pollen, and other particles to make your home’s air healthier. Health Climate® filters do all this without adding to the cost of running your heating and cooling system.

The EPA recommends using a filter rated at MERV 13 or higher to trap harmful particles, including germs, bacteria, allergens, and viruses. But not any MERV 13 will do. Lennox’s Healthy Climate® filters clean your air without restricting airflow, which can help lower utility bills. Unlike other MERV 13 filters, these 5” filters won’t add to the cost of heating and cooling your home. They just work to make your air cleaner instead of working your HVAC system into a breakdown. 

This is one of the best furnace filters for pet owners since they filter out pet dander.

Electrostatic Filters

There are two types of electrostatic filters: disposable and reusable. These filters use an electrostatic charge to pull in and collect airborne particles. Electrostatic washable filters have a MERV rating of 8, while the disposable alternatives have a MERV rating of 10. 

These can be some of the best furnace filters for allergies since they can effectively trap smaller particles and keep them from circulating through your home. 

HEPA Filters

Coming in at the top for overall effectiveness are HEPA filters. Short for “high-efficiency particulate air filters,” HEPA filters can trap upwards of 99.7% of airborne contaminants. These contaminants can be as small as 0.3 microns in size.

With a MERV rating ranging from 16 to 20, these high-efficiency filters are perhaps the best furnace filter for allergies, asthma, and respiratory problems. However, HEPA filters aren’t the best furnace filter for airflow and are often only used in medical facilities. Plus, the replacement filters can be costly.

Want to Improve Indoor Air Quality?

As you can see, air filters offer various benefits. While most filters perform decently at trapping airborne particles, you might want to consider other ways of improving your home’s indoor air quality. It can be easy to find some of the best furnace air filters at your local Home Depot but challenging to find other air quality products that are suitable for your home.

At Environment Masters, we offer services for air quality in Jackson, MS. We can help you find an air purifier or air filtration system that suits your needs. Contact us today!

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