Furnace Filters 101
October 7, 2019
Your furnace filter is the unsung hero of your furnace. It quietly does its job without any fuss and allows the rest of the furnace to do its job. It’s not a complicated item, but there are some basics we at Comfort Zone Heating & Cooling think you should know to help it do its job.
Its PurposeThe main purpose of your furnace filter is to protect your furnace, specifically the blower fan, from all the dust, debris, and other pollutants the return duct takes in. The filter also aids in your home’s indoor air quality (IAQ) for your breathing health.
How It WorksYour furnace cycles air through your Ontario home, ducts, and furnace. The cold air is drawn through the system’s return ducts to the furnace, where the air is heated through the heat exchanger. The now-heated air travels through the ducts out through the vents into your home’s rooms. The warmer air, now in your rooms, pushes the existing cold air back through the return ducts, and the process begins again. With all this air traveling and pushing, it’s picking up the dirt, dust, and other pollutants to travel along with it. This all passes through your furnace’s filter, and the filter prevents it from getting to the rest of the system and being pushed into your rooms.
TypesThere are several types of furnace filters on the market. It can be confusing, so ask one of our Comfort Zone Heating & Cooling heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) professionals which filter type would work best for your Oregon home and situation. The most common types are:
- Fiberglass, disposable––most common type of filter, only traps the largest particles, doesn’t aid your indoor air quality or if you suffer from allergies or asthma, least expensive, replaced monthly.
- Pleated, disposable––very popular type of filter, made from polyester or cotton paper, traps smaller particles like spores and mites, very affordable, replaced monthly.
- Electrostatic, disposable––constructed with self-charging electrostatic paper or cotton fibers, traps small particles, good choice if you have pets or smokers, not overly costly, price increases if custom size needed.
- Electrostatic, permanent––constructed with self-charging electrostatic fibers, traps small particles, good choice if you have pets or smokers, machine-washable permanent filter, higher initial cost but can last eight to 10 years.
- High-efficiency pleated––constructed from 4-inch to five-inch pleated synthetic cotton, traps the smallest particles, attaches to metal grid to help stop leaks, good choice for those with autoimmune diseases or respiratory issues, commonly used in hospitals, more costly, not available for all HVAC systems.