Your forced-air furnace draws in and then distributes conditioned air throughout your home. Particulates, pollen, smoke, debris, dust and dander are all being distributed alongside this conditioned air.
These free floating air pollutants can irritate the respiratory system, carry pathogens which cause illness and clog up your HVAC units as air is passed through them, resulting in more repair and maintenance work down the line.
To allow your furnace to run smoothly, and keep it from seizing up, replacing your whole house air filter on a regular basis is a good idea. If your furnace is relatively new and is high-efficient, then replacing your flat pleated whole house air filters at least every 3-months will keep your furnace clean and running smoothly.
These superior residential MERV rated air filters are usually constructed out of fiberglass and slot right into your ductwork. The MERV (Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value) rating was developed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Engineers to educate the consumer for how an air filter will perform and what types of particles the air filter will filter from getting in the air or into the HVAC system.
Sometimes these whole house air filters need to have some alterations are to fit properly onto the filter track in your system. There are also varieties that have a small electrical charge which attract particles to the pleats and holds on to them which are referred to as electrostatic.
The best air filters for your home depends entirely on whether they fit into your ductwork system, and also how extensive your system is. However, thicker filters are more expensive but they are also more effective and usually the better choice no matter the type of system you have.
The sizing of your filter is entirely dependent on your system, however, so you should make sure the air filter your are interested in purchasing is going to fit your furnace.
These are made from electrostatically charged pleats and can extract and trap tiny particles of between 0.3 to 1.0 microns in the air, including PM 2.5 pollution, soot, lint, dust, soot, smoke, mucus, pollen and even microorganisms! The electric charge traps the particles and doesn’t let them go, it is extremely effective.
What’s also great about this product is there are multiple buying options that allow you to choose the correct sizing option for you. This may seem like an obvious benefit but you would be surprised that many similar products do not offer the same.
You get two filters to each purchase and given the price it may seem slightly expensive but given that these filters are so effective and last for up to three months its great value. Especially considering they are saving you from having to clean and even have a technician perform maintenance on your HVAC system.
Even though it’s not as effective as the MPR 2800 it’s still effective in its own right at limiting undesirable particles form travelling through your home ducting. It incorporates electrostatically charged fibres but also combines this with carbon which makes it able to trap gasses and odors.
This is great if you cook often and the smell tends to linger, if you have pets or a smoker in the household, it greatly eliminates the odors and prevents them from circumventing your home.
This filter also has variable buying options so that you can choose your size but you can also choose whether you want a 2, 4 or a 6 pack and since these are much more affordable than the MPR 2800 you can save a great deal on buying more and replacing existing ones.
These filters are highly efficient at their job and are much thicker than standard filters that have 1″ thickness. At a thickness of 4.5″ the Honeywell filters work well to trap even more particulate matter and last much longer.
Unfortunately there isn’t options for choosing the dimensions you want the filter to be which is a negative in our book. Even though this is a great option for its performance, make sure you are certain it will fit into your HVAC system before making a purchase. If you are lucky enough here there filters fit your system then we highly recommend consider purchasing these.
You receive a pack a four filters with each purchase, making it great for those who are on a budget and don’t want to spend too much on their air filters or who just want some cheap temporary replacements. Each one lasts for up to 3 months too which is great!
The downside to these filters is that they have the lowest MERV rating on our list with an 8 which is still efficient, but they are not going to be as effective as all of the above products. They will still work well for reducing larger dust particles, pollen, mould and other allergens.
Another plus to consider with these filters is they incorporate baking soda into the air filters which act to fight odors passing through your duct system preventing them from permeating throughout your home. An excellent buy for the price!
Why Use a Whole House Air Filter?
As touched on in the introduction, air filters remove all the nasty things that float around in the air of your house which passes through your HVAC units as they condition the air. These undesired particulates such as dirt, dust and pollen can be hazardous to the HVAC system, clogging up coils meaning you’ll need to break out the AC coil cleaner more often.
Of course, if it gets really bad, you sometimes need to consult with your HVAC technician to do a full inspection and maintenance job. This can really add up to high costs in comparison to even the most expensive filters that can prevent or reduce your HVAC system becoming clogged up.
There are different types of harmful particles in the air, the smallest of which are the hardest to control. Bacteria, Viruses and Fungi are living organisms which can fit on the dust and particles that are moved around the home via your HVAC system and if elements of any unit become clogged, they become breeding grounds for these microbes.
They are then inhaled and can play havoc with your respiratory system. Using good filters can greatly reduce this meaning the air that’s passing through your HVAC system and your home is cleaner and clearer, so much so that you would actually feel the difference. Especially for those with allergies or sensitive respiratory systems.
What Makes a Good Whole House Air Filter?
MERV Rating Explained
As mentioned in the beginning MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and effectively start at 6 but the most effective is at 14 or above. The higher the MERV rating, the smaller the particles the filter can pick up from the air.
Newer HVAC systems that have a higher energy-efficiency sometimes act up or stall when installing some of the higher MERV rating filters due to air flow being too interrupted. If you decide to attempt a high MERV rated filter that ends up not allowing air to pass through properly it will leave you without air conditioning or heat until you’re able to get your system services, so be careful when making your purchase of very highly rated MERV filters.
It goes like this:
MERV 6: Lint, Household Dust, Pollen
MERV 8: Lint, Household Dust, Pollen, Dust Mite Debris, Mould, Spores
MERV 11: Lint, Household Dust, Pollen, Dust Mite Debris, Mould, Spores, Pet Dander, Smoke, Smog, Mucus
MERV 14: Lint, Household Dust, Pollen, Dust Mite Debris, Mould, Spores, Pet Dander, Smoke, Smog, Mucus, Bacteria, Viruses
Electrostatic Charge Air Filter Explained
A filter which has an electrostatic charge does not mean you have to connect them to any power source to work. They already have this charge which attracts particles to them and holds them there which greatly increases this efficacy of the filter. These filter come at a higher cost but are altogether worth it due to having a greater performance.
Thickness of a Whole House Air Filter
Filters which are thicker are generally able to capture and hold more debris and particulate matter and therefor last longer before needing replacement. This does save you money in the long run but will of course need to fit into the slot.
Final Thoughts on Whole House Air Filters
When it comes to air filters, there is one dominant brand and that is Filtrete. They have a great range to suit the budget and the requirements for everyone. If you do have the budget though, their top product; the MPR 2800, is without a doubt, the top performing air filter on the market.
If you have any thoughts or questions, please feel free to comment below and we will be happy to answer any questions that you may have.