What’s Inside Your Air Filter?

To keep your furnace operating in optimal condition and prevent a possible malfunction, you need to clean or change its air filter regularly. Basic knowledge about the integral components can help perform repairs in case of an emergency.

If you wonder what’s inside your air filter, here is the answer.

Understanding Air Filter Design

The furnace air filter has a simple design. It does not have any moving parts. The furnace filter consists of a membrane that filters the air. The air filter is available in different sizes. The MERV rating of the air filter is an essential factor.

Where Does the Air Filter Go?

Knowing the types of filter and its MERV rating is a good thing. But the information is useless if you don’t know where the 14x20x1 air filter – MERV 8 goes into the furnace in the first place. In every traditional HVAC system, the air filter is fitted between the HVAC unit and the return duct.

What Are MERV Ratings?

MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. The MERV ratings let people know how effectively the air filter can remove pollutants from your home. It purchases the furnace system a lot easier.

Most air filter’s MERV ratings lay between 1 and 16. The higher number indicates a larger thickness and higher density of the filter membrane. According to experts, the air filter with the highest MERV rating is not ideal in all circumstances. If the membrane is thick, it impedes airflow and causes lots of other issues. It will help if you talk with the HVAC technician to determine the right MERV rated air filter for your furnace.

What’s Your Air Filter Made Of?

The indoor quality of the air depends on the kind of furnace filter inside your HVAC system. The 14x20x1 air filter – MERV 8 is made of different materials, including cotton, polyester, and fiberglass. The type of material used in the air filter determines how effectively the furnace filters the air.

Fiberglass Filters

As the standard air filters in the HVAC system, they have the lowest MERV rating between 2 and 4. These air filters are made of spun fiberglass and have one-inch thickness.

The fiberglass air filters do an excellent job of protecting the furnace from dust. However, they are inefficient in maintaining good indoor air quality. If you have respiratory problems, you should stay away from disposable fiberglass air filters.

Pleated Fabric Filters

Pleated air filters are made of cotton paper sheets or polyester, and have a MERV rating between 6 and 13. The incoming airflow recharges the air-filters with an electrostatic charge. It increases the capacity of these air filters to remove smaller particles from the air. The MERV rating of cotton air filters stands above 13. They are slightly more expensive than pleated fabric air filters.

Electrostatic Filters

The electrostatic filter is made of self-charging fibers to attract small particles in the air. You can buy washable or disposable electrostatic filters depending on your requirement. The washable electrostatic filters have MERV ratings in the range of 4 and 10.

Now that you know what’s inside your air filter, you would be confident while replacing or cleaning the air filter.

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