When replacing your furnace filter there are choices you can make.
Purchasing a high efficient filter can mean cleaner air for you and your household, however there is also an increased cost to that. A better filter will mean it catches more debris, which in turn means it will get ‘plugged’ faster than a cheap filter. Therefore, all things being equal, you will have to replace a more expensive filter more often…unless you install a larger filter which will offset the intervals to which you have to replace it…
Traditionally furnace filters have always been a thin (approx. 1”) slab type, sometimes cardboard framed throwaway type, sometimes washable and reusable. They slowly have been streamlined from all different sizes to either be 16 X 25 X 1 or the larger 20 X 25 X 1. If you have the type you have to cut yourself to fit in a cradle or some other mechanism… it’s probably time to replace your furnace lol. There has, in the last few years, been a new size of filter which has become very popular. It is the ‘box media’ air filter.
Many different brands of box media air cleaners are available, but for the most part, they are the same type of idea. They allow a higher end air filter, that will last a lot longer so you won’t be penalized by having to replace it every few weeks. They increase the surface area which definitely helps in its longevity but they have also come a long way in air filter technology. The trick, obviously, is a balance of restriction and efficiency. This is then given a M.E.R.V. rating (minimum efficiency reporting value), the higher the M.E.R.V. rating, the better the filter. Currently we have them at MERV 11 and MERV 16.
There are many variables which can determine the life of any given filter. Things such as: number of occupants, carpet, pets, gravel roads, how often windows are open etc.
Buying a more expensive 1” slab type filter will mean you are replacing it more often than if you had a box media air filter installed and it also means you’re spending more money on filtration. A box media air cleaner is going to be easier on the wallet and the intervals at which you have to tend to it will be less as well. In closing, if you want cleaner air for you home, then box media filtration is less expensive in the long run and more maintenance friendly as well!
**If you want information on even better whole home air filtration, go to our website to check out the ‘LENNOX PURE AIR’
Steve De Vries is a “Red Seal” refrigeration technician with over 20 years of experience in the HVAC industry. He has been a certified Lennox Premier technician since 2006. Steve is also a Master gas-fitter licensed by the province of Manitoba. Along with his Red Seal Provincial accreditation he also holds an electrical license. Born and raised in Winnipeg Manitoba, Steve has a very good understanding of a diverse climate and the affects it has on our construction. Well versed in duct design, fabrication, ventilation, and air quality, Steve understands all the variables to take into consideration for our region as well as the science to achieve desired comfort, which is so much more than just temperature.