Furnaces | 8 Min.

Do Reusable Furnace Filters Actually Work?

Written by Chris

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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.

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.

Difference Between Disposable and Reusable Filters

While the two kinds of filters can dependably secure your warming or cooling framework, expendable filters 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

Disadvantages of Reusable Furnace Filters

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:

Step 1 – Dry: vacuum thoroughly over the entire surface

Step 2 – 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.

Step 3 – 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.

Step 4 – 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 You 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:

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, the 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 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!