What You Should Know About Furnace Filters

January 12, 2015

Changing or cleaning your furnace filter is perhaps the single most important task you can do to keep your furnace operating at peak performance for as long as possible.

If you already maintain your furnace filter on a regular basis- congratulations! Do yourself a favor and skip below to make sure you know how to choose the best filter for your furnace.

Choosing the wrong filter for your system can do more harm than good.

If you are like many residents of New Jersey, you don’t have a solid routine in place to take care of replacing your filter. Please take our advice and start fresh this year.

The simplest way to remind yourself that it is time for a change is to write the replacement date on the side of your filter that faces you. Keep track of when you need to replace your filter just like you do with the 'Oil Change Reminder' sticker in your car.

Next, take a couple of minutes to set a recurring reminder or alarm on your phone and never forget to change your furnace filter again.

How Your Furnace Filter Works

Contrary to popular belief, the main purpose of your furnace filter is to protect your furnace’s blower fan from dust and debris.

While it will help, the purpose of your furnace filter is NOT to clean the air you breathe.

If you are concerned about the quality of the air inside your home, we recommend you install an air cleaner.

A dirty or clogged air filter will block airflow and could damage your furnace.

How to Choose the Right Filter for Your Furnace

If you’re the one who shops for your furnace filters in your home, you have probably stood in the aisle far longer than you planned just trying to find the size you needed.

Some stores even have their own rating scale and color-coded system on filters they manufacture or sell in their store.

Then they throw the MERV ratings at you.

What Do the MERV Ratings on Furnace Filters Mean?

Every furnace filter has a MERV rating, which can range from 1 to 16. The higher the number, the more particles your filter can remove.

However, the highest MERV ratings also allow the least amount of airflow through the filter.

Most often, a MERV rating of 8-11 is best. Higher MERV ratings may cause your furnace to malfunction.

At A.J. Perri, we recommend that you look up your manufacturer’s recommended maximum MERV rating for your furnace to ensure you are not inadvertently forcing your system to work harder than it needs to.

If you have more questions about furnace filters or need someone to repair or replace yours, give us a call. We are always happy to help.

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Last Updated: June 06, 2024