Understanding Furnace Filters
In general, furnace filters clean dust, dirt, and debris from the air stream that
passes through an HVAC system. Keeping such particles out of the furnace
improves air quality and protects the inside of the furnace. Allergen reduction
filters, such as those we sell here at achoo! ALLERGY, include the added
benefit of filtering allergen particles from the air. However, if not used properly,
a furnace filter will actually restrict the passage of air, or it can facilitate the
introduction of dust and other allergens into your home environment. To avoid
this, it's important to change your filter regularly if it's a disposable kind, or
permanent washable type. When used to combat allergies, a furnace filter
should be used as part of an overall strategy to minimize the allergens in your
Don't forget to use the "FAN" switch on the thermostat to just filter and circulate air all around the house?
Why do filters come in different colors? To give you an indication of how much filth they have collected
Furnace Filter Cartridge Replacements
Standard: These are the filters you see at the hardware store on sale.
These filter catch particles the size of small rocks. Most filth will pass right
through. AVOID these filters. Average Cost $.99 on Sale
Electrostatic: Often confused for a ELECTRONIC, electrostatic filters are permanent, washable, 1" thick filters that carry an electronic charge (static electricity) that attracts particles much like a magnet. Well sort of? They are easy to wash but very over rated on their performance. Average Cost $40.00
Pleated/HEPA Type: The pleats in pleated or HEPA Type furnace filters give the furnace filters more media, or surface area, where particles can be captured. These pleats allow a filter to last much longer. Average is 3-4 months with the 4" thick filters lasting a year. These filters come in 1" thick, 2" thick and 4" thick. The thicker filter the longer between changes are needed. These are great filters for allergens. Average Cost $9.00 to $50.00
HEPA Absolute: Although HEPA Absolute filters are the gold standard when it comes to filters in air purifiers and vacuum cleaners, they create too much air flow resistance when it comes to home furnace filters. HEPA absolute filters are 12" thick. Average Cost $400.00
Activated Carbon: An activated carbon component in a furnace filter enables it to absorb chemicals, fumes, and odors as air passes through your HVAC system. Now its combined with a Pleated filter. Both feature an activated carbon blend to filter out not only allergens, but hazardous chemicals as well, including formaldehyde, ozone, and VOCs.
Electronic Air Cleaner or EAC: This have been proven and tested over the past 50 years. They were designed for cleaning the air in a submarines. These air cleaners/purifiers work well but require a lot of maintenance. If you read the manufacturers recommended cleaning instructions they tell you to put the large stainless steel collector plates in the dishwasher every 30 to 45 days. If you don't have a dishwasher you must soak the collector plates in a tub of dish washing detergent for one hour. I only recommend these for those that have severe respiratory problems.