How many times have you been to the store trying to choose a furnace filter that is really right for you? When you go to Lowe's or Home Depot you are faced with so many choices. Aside from the size of the filter, which obviously depends on your furnace size, you also have to consider the needs of the members of your family. This article will help you decide best filters to buy that also fit your budget.
Things You'll Need
- Filter Specifications
- MERV ratings
Know what your filter size is. It is usually written on the side of the filter. These are measured in inches. Typical sizes are 16x18x1, 18x20x1 etc. If the size of the filter is not written on the side or if you are unable to find it, try measuring the size.
Find the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating on your current filter. Generally greater the MERV rating, the more the resistance to smaller dust particles and other airborne contaminants.
Usually fiberglass filters like the one shown in picture above have a rating of about 1-4. These are pretty cheap and you can get some for about $1. But, they need to be replaced sooner (about every 3-4 weeks).
Filters with MERV rating of 5-8 are pleated filters that trap particles ranging as small as 3 microns. These are probably the best for use in a home where family members often suffer from allergies. They cost about $3 and need to be replaced every 2-3 months. I have a filter with rating of 12, which traps the smallest of particles, smoke and even pollen. These are usually used in Industrial application and are not very common for residential use.
The next step in choosing a filter is its price. Although Wal-mart, Home Depot and Lowe's have good priced filters, they are not the cheapest. I would suggest looking at ebay and finding a trusted seller.
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