Do Reusable Furnace Filters Actually Work? HVAC Technician Opinion
Your furnace’s air filter has been designed to trap dust circulating in the ambient air. It goes without saying that to be effective, this filter must be cleaned and replaced regularly! At Smile HVAC, we invite you to start the new year in the right way by cleaning the air filter on your furnace. Read on to learn what you need to do to maintain healthy air in every room of your home this winter.
What is a Furnace Filter?
Air filters on air handling units such as boilers, HRV, and ERV systems are intended to clean and purify the air before it enters your home’s ducts, thus protecting the air quality. Indoor air against contamination by airborne particles. Dust, dirt, and pollen in the air of homes have been shown to have adverse effects on human health and lead to, or worsen, respiratory problems such as asthma.
Considering current events, it is interesting to know that certain filters can prevent airborne viruses from circulating in our heating systems. And, although COVID-19 has only a limited airborne presence, the measles virus is 8-10 times more likely to be released by our forced air heating systems. Also, reduce the risk of virus transport with a simple filter change: a better efficiency filter is the right choice.
Why is it so Important to Use High-quality Furnace Filters?
Yes, high-quality air filters with an appropriate MERV or MPR rating can prevent contaminants’ distribution in the outdoor air. They also filter the air recirculated around the house, removing particles, allergens, pathogens, and viruses.
But to have good results, you have to get good air filters and maintain your system for necessary interventions (which can sometimes become hazardous). Traditional circulating air furnaces and heating systems in North America tend to be hidden away in basements or utility rooms, and filter changes can often be forgotten for months.
When was the last time you changed your filter? Did you choose your filter based on cost, or rather its efficiency and suitability for your home and those who live there? Maybe it’s time to check it out and take a furnace maintenance task more seriously.
Disposable and Reusable Filters: Main Differences
While the two kinds of filters can dependably secure your warming or cooling framework, expendable filter are ordinarily known for predominant execution by and large. Washable filters, by and large, have generally low filtering, naturally catching under 75 percent of bigger indoor poisons like residue parasites, cover filaments, and dust particles.
Interestingly, disposable filters with MERV evaluations somewhere in the range of 9 and 12 have moderately high filtering. These channels can catch up to 95 percent of the bigger particles circling through your home, which can keep your home’s indoor air quality high while helping your HVAC framework run as effectively as could reasonably be expected.
Advantages of Reusable Furnace Filters
- Buying and replacement cost. When gauging HVAC channels’ cost, it’s ideal for taking a gander at the drawn-out expenses. The facts demonstrate that washable heater channels are more costly. The average cost for a quality reusable channel ranges from $60 to $120. Expendable channels are a lot less expensive; the average cost for a 12-pack ranges from about $35 to $90.
- Even though the forthright expense is higher, it’s essential to consider how washable filters are relied upon to last almost a similar number of years as your unit. By ascertaining the contribution over the lifetime of an HVAC framework, property holders can set aside cash over the long haul.
- Environmental Impact. Eco-accommodating mortgage holders will, in general, lean toward reusable channels. Supplanting dispensable channels routinely – at regular intervals as suggested – can indeed include regarding waste. When you eliminate the old track, reusing and removal choices are restricted in many zones. By examination, washable ways are more ecologically benevolent since they can be used repeatedly for 5-10 years.
Disadvantages of Reusable Furnace Filters
- Air filters effectiveness. Reusable filters don’t have high efficiency in regards to air filtration and have an average MERV rating somewhere between 1 and 4. They work fine at getting more significant airborne contaminants, such as dust, dust parasites, cover strands, and dust. Unrivalled expendable channels for private HVAC frameworks offer better productivity, up to a MERV rating of 12. These excellent expendable choices can catch up to 95% of littler particles, including pet dander, form spores, and microbes.
- The one significant preferred position concerning reusable channels is that they can be washed and reinstalled as regularly as you like. This can help decline the measure of shape and buildup development on the medium itself.
- Support time. The two kinds of channels require some ordinary upkeep. Where expendable air channels essentially should be supplanted each 30 to 90 days, reusable channels require washing. (See the consideration guidelines underneath.) This can be more tedious than merely eliminating the old track and placing it in another one.
How Often Should You Change the Air Filters?
Replacing your furnace filter is essential not only to ensure the air quality in your home but also to ensure the full potential performance of your appliance and avoid unnecessary energy consumption. Many people ask the question: when should the filter element be replaced? Several factors influence the frequency of replacement, which can be once a month, up to once every six months. Depending on the type of filter, the number of inhabitants in the house, the presence of allergies or pets, it will have to be replaced sooner or later.
How to Clean a Reusable Furnace Filter?
The procedure for cleaning an air filter is straightforward. First of all, stop the operation of your heat generator, then remove the air filter. Then choose one of these cleaning methods:
- Dry: vacuum thoroughly over the entire surface;
- Underwater: It is recommended to use a garden hose or, at the very least, a jet of water strong enough to dislodge particles – make sure the air filter is completely dry before putting it back on in place.
- To ensure your heating system’s optimal functioning, the cleaning of the air filter should be carried out at regular intervals, ideally every month, especially during winter.
- Some filters are washable, like those with a lower MERV, but some are not. In general, therefore, we should advise against washing air filters. Top-quality air filters are paper-based, as this is the medium needed to capture the finest particles, and of course, washing paper is not possible. That said, there are specialty manufacturers with products that might be worth looking into, anyone who has handled a car’s engine will know the name K&N for example, but did you know that K&N also has a range of washable furnace filters?
How Often Do I Need to Change a Reusable Filter?
For maximum efficiency, it is recommended that you replace your filter at least once every three months. You may want to replace your filter more often if:
- You are renovating, or other construction work is in progress
- Sanding work on furniture or drywall is in progress
- You have animals
- Smokers live in the house
- A fan runs continuously
Schedule Annual Furnace Maintenance with Smile HVAC
Even if you try to clean your furnace air filter regularly, you should not forget one thing: its replacement. Indeed, for your heating system’s mechanism to perform at its full efficiency, its filter must be replaced according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
A clogged air filter can dramatically increase your heating costs. Also, an air filter that is not replaced as recommended can cause a severe malfunction that could lead to expensive furnace repairs. We provide all kinds of furnace services: furnace installation, repair, maintenance, replacement, inspection and others.
Trust HVAC specialists for the furnace filters’ advice and replacement!