What is a Furnace or Air Conditioner Filter Good For?

A filter can provide 3 basic functions, but only if you choose the right one.

Keeps your system clean

The main function of a filter is to keep the components inside the unit clean. This is what the simple filters are designed for. As the air travels the ductwork and arrives at the furnace or air handler, the filter will trap all large debris and particles from the air. What you get is cleaner air passing through the system to be delivered back to the home.

Cuts back on dust

Although no furnace or air handler filter is designed specifically to dust your house, a better quality filter will trap more and smaller particles and reduce the amount of particles delivered back to your ductwork and home. One common misunderstanding is that only a small amount of the “dust” in your home will actually make its way into the ductwork to even cross the filter. The fact is that well designed ductwork will pull most of your home’s air through your system. The better the filter, the less dust there will be circulating throughout your home. A ‘dustless home’? It would be nice, but don’t expect too much. No filtration system can completely eliminate dust.

Cuts back on allergens

A high quality filtration system can go a long way to help cut back on allergy issues. There are several types that can help. The best ones out there use HEPA filtration. This can provide significant relief. There are also electronic filters that provide good relief. Then there are high end cartridge filters with a high MERV rating (10 or higher) that help with minor allergies. These can be fitted into your existing system with only minor changes.

As you can see, filters can provide many solutions for your home. However if you try to accomplish a specific task with the wrong filter it will lead to frustration and wasted money. Pick your contractor carefully and be sure they are confident and educated on each type of filter and how it might help you.

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