Not all furnace filters are created equal

Air filter technology is advancing and we humans are benefiting with overall increased health due to cleaner air we breathe.

Washable and reusable furnace filter
Washable filters are more expensive compared fiberglass filters and they work similar to fiberglass filters in regard to their potential to capture micro particles. They are designed to be washed periodically such as every month and need replacement in every few years. They are more effective for trapping larger particles. One big disadvantage for these types of filters is micro particles cannot be washed from it completely. The left over micro matter could cause respiratory problems if inhaled and get stuck in your lungs. As a result some brands come with an electrostatic charge created by air circulation that helps to capture more micro particles. But many say that quality of these filters wear off over time. Other factors that can affect the effectiveness of a furnace filter include humidity content in the air and temperature inside your home.

High efficiency pleated filters
This class of filters include filtrete filter by 3M, Honeywell furnace filter and many others and are disposable. Due to pleating this type of filters contain more filter area than flat filters and capture more particles. Electrostatic fibers are permanently charged and embedded in fiberglass and therefore, capable of capturing and retaining small and large particles. Because of this quality, it could capture and retain airborne allergens such as mold, bacteria, pet dander, and smaller particles such as dust and smoke. Unlike washable filters, this class of filters including filtrete filter cannot be cleaned or reusable. Experts suggest replacing your furnace filter including these filters every three months.

High efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters
This class of filters claims that it could capture and retain 99 percent of particles including 0.3 microns and larger particles. Checkout the line of HEPA filters including Honeywell furnace filter. They are intended to attract and retain sub-micron particles and work more efficiently. The filter contains very fine sub-micron glass fibers in matrix of larger fibers. Because of this quality, your regular furnace or the air conditioner do not have the adequate pressure to push air through the unit.

More traditional air filters in higher range of MERV (12 – 13 range) could come closer to matching the quality of HEPA filters. If you prefer this class of filters, you need to buy a separate unit consisting of a fan and filter that can handle HEPA filters.

Go to to see a wide range of filters.

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