Choosing The Right Air Filter For Your Furnace

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Hayward Score identifies the major issues in your home that can impact your health and gives you personalized actionable recommendations to fix them!

The Best Ways to Keep Air in Your Home Clean

One of the best ways to keep the air in your home clean is to use high-efficiency furnace filters (rated MERV 11 or higher) and to change them regularly.

While changing your filter 3-4 times a year is typically sufficient, you may need to change more frequently if you are in an area that has poor air quality – such as areas impacted by a wildfire. People with asthma and allergies may also find that they need to change their filters more frequently.

When your furnace air filter becomes too dirty, airflow is restricted and your HVAC system has to work extra hard to circulate air through your house. This could result in higher energy costs and an overworked HVAC system. In addition, changing your filter regularly can:

See the difference between a dirty (removed after Camp Fire wildfire) and clean filter below:

air filter

Dirty Airt Filter vs. Clean Air Filter

What to Look For in a New Furnace Filter

To filter the most particulates out of your indoor air, Hayward Score recommends buying high-quality furnace air filters. Depending on the manufacturer, look for the following ratings:

MERV Ratings

A MERV 11 filter or its equivalent will remove smoke particulates in addition to pet dander, mold spores, pollen, and household dust. A MERV 13 filter, or its equivalent, will also remove bacteria and virus carriers.

If you use furnace filters above MERV 13 or its equivalent, you should have a Heating/Cooling professional evaluate the efficiency of your system.

A Few Last Tips for Maintaining an Air Filter:

For more information on the importance of air filters, read our article on Breathing Well During Wildfires here or read the EPA’s Guide to Air Cleaners in the Home.

 

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Joe Medosch
Joe Medosch
Hayward Score Healthy Building Scientist Joe Medosch has almost 30 years of experience as a contractor and 10 years as a master trainer with expertise in home performance, particularly in health and energy-efficiency. His proficiency includes building science & diagnostics and Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) assessments. He has served on numerous committees developing industry standards including: RESNET Standard 380, Equipment Sub-Committee, and BPI multifamily standards development.
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