Homeowners who clean or replace their furnace filters at the start of the cold season are taking a proactive step to reduce winter allergies. High-quality filters can keep dust, animal dander, and other particles out of the air. As air passes through the filter before it is processed into the furnace components, it can capture contaminants that cause various problems for people inside your home. When deciding if it's time to change your furnace filter, there are several factors to consider.
Online providers offer filters that can trap pollen and dust. Replacing a clogged, dirty filter with a clean one can significantly improve the quality of your home's indoor air. The most important factor is that any furnace filter should be able to trap dust, even if it has a lower MERV score. The exact amount of particles a furnace filter captures depends on its MERV rating: the higher the rating, the more it can trap.
Particle capture efficiency actually increases as the filter becomes dirty; the build-up in the fibers reduces the openings through which air passes and allows the filter to capture more particles. When buying an air dust filter, it's important to consider how well the filter prevents other particles from circulating in the air. If you have an old furnace, you'll need to change the filter more often to reduce the strain on your HVAC system. Each type of filter can be used in different situations, and it's essential that you choose the right filter for your home's HVAC unit, as selecting the wrong type of filter can damage the heating system.
Some filter manufacturers and retailers have developed patented classification systems, such as the microparticle performance rating (MPR) or the filter performance rating (FPR).