Furnace filters are used to filter the air as it enters into the furnace. Most homes have brand new furnace filters installed when the furnace is put in. However as time goes by, homeowners forget to replace the filters resulting in air quality problem and poorly functioning furnaces. Depending on the size of your house and the furnace size, it is necessary to clean or replace the filter regularly. If you aren’t really sure about the type of filter you are currently using, here is a list of the most commonly used furnace filter varieties on the market at present.
Fiberglass furnace air filter — These filters are cheap and disposable. The fiberglass sheet is mounted on top of a wood or a plastic frame. These filters usually have to be replaced every month and they cost just about $ 2-5 each.
Washable furnace air filter — Older homes may have reusable or washable filters that are from nylon mesh or plastic mesh mounted on a wood or plastic frame. These filters are a little expensive but they last for more than three years. We do recommend that you that you wash these filters every six months to get the most out of them.
Paper furnace air filter — Paper filters are considered disposable but they are the most popular variety of air furnace filters on the market at present. The filter sheet is made from high quality cotton paper and it is pleated or placed without pleats in a plastic or metal frame. The paper sheet is usually pleated to provide maximum filtration capacity. The most popular brand is the 3M Filtrete filters that are made from high quality pleated cotton paper that is electro-statically charged to catch almost 99% of airborne particulates. Each filter costs just about $3 and it can be easily replaced with a new filter quickly and efficiently. The filter is also much more effective as compared to fiberglass filters and it is mostly recommended for residential use. Other brands are also available offering pleated paper filters that cost about $2 each. However, these filters may not contain the electrostatic charging that is offered by the 3M filters. Some homeowners have reported resistance to air flow which makes the furnace system work harder and consume more energy but this fact has not been verified.
For most homeowners, the benefits of paper furnace air filter systems outweigh any other furnace air filter system in the market. Paper filters are cheaper, readily available and made from completely green recyclable materials.