Changing furnace filter is key to keeping particles down
Sometimes I long for the days when buying something was not an exercise in complex decision making.
It used to be that most things we bought required only that we knew what size fit or which color we liked. But today, such is not the case.
This brings me to the would-be simple task of buying a furnace filter.
In recent years, the old blue fiberglass furnace filters that we have all seen and used have fallen out of favor with most consumers. In their stead, a new breed of impressive-looking pleated filters have come forth.
All filters are measured on the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value scale, which measures the level of particulate removed from the air. The higher the MERV rating, the more and smaller particulates the filter removes.
Typical blue fiberglass filter panels are a MERV 4 or lower. They are functional, but largely ineffective at filtering the finest atmospheric dust. Pleated filters boast a higher MERV rating — normally a MERV 5 or higher.
So, generally speaking, it makes sense to choose a high MERV rating. But, because high MERV ratings can result in more restriction on the furnace's airflow it is imperative to check with the manufacturer of your furnace to confirm the highest MERV rating that they recommend.
Based on my experience, a MERV 8 pleated filter is acceptable for use in most forced air furnaces.
Pleated filters also boast a longer effective life, usually 90 days compared to the 30-day term of a fiberglass panel.
It would appear then, that pleated filters in the appropriate MERV rating are the best choice. But as with most things that are better, pleated filters are more expensive than their fiberglass cousins.
Now in the interest of keeping my stated intent (see above) I really do want to make this buying decision simple. So here goes...first contact the manufacturer of your furnace and find out their best recommendation for MERV rating. Next, proceed to the hardware store and buy that filter. Forget the price issue, buy the best filter for the furnace.
Ed Pfeifer is the owner of Pfeifer Hardware Inc., 300 Marshall Way, Mars and a freelance columnist for Trib Total Media. If you have questions, call the store at 724-625-9090.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- 2 longtime Pittsburgh nonprofits agree to merge
- Penguins’ Crosby details his mumps experience
- Starkey: Pederson had to go at Pitt
- Steelers, young and old, thirst for opportunity to reach the postseason
- Pederson’s 2nd tenure as Pitt AD comes to abrupt end
- News Alert
- Judge dismisses littering charge against City Council president Kraus
- Chryst returns home, named football coach at Wisconsin
- Hays ‘eagle cams’ reinstalled for 2015 nesting season
- Toast of the Town: Explore Lawrenceville’s many watering holes
- Generous Leechburg boy receives Christmas surprise from secret Santa