In the defense against Indoor Air Pollution in your home, there is one, a silent ally in the fight, your furnace filter. Unseen, and unheard, the filter traps the dust and dirt that we unknowingly produce, imprisoning it for the protection of our indoor air. You can help this mighty hero in the quest to bring clean air to your vents. Ensure a happy home by knowing what a furnace filter is and what kind of filter you need. Where is it in your house and how to change it. Explore the exciting world of furnace filters now.

how a air filter works

Filtering the noise


We actually want to filter the air you breathe, not sound. There are a lot of articles when you Google furnace filter. So let us talk about filters, those unsung heroes of your household. There are a few different types you can get depending on the needs of your furnace and your personal environmental needs.
Disposable $10 – $110

Disposable filters are less expensive and more common – easy to buy. They come in varyingratings and sizes, meaning you can easily get what you need quickly.
Washable $20 – $90

Washable filters are just that, washable. They need very specific maintenance to do their best work, and come in a range of ratings and sizes just like disposable ones. These should be replaced every five years if properly maintained.
Electrostatic $40 – $60

These filters come in disposable and washable varieties, they work by self-charging the air as it passes through giving the things you are trying to trap an electric charge that will attract them to the filter itself and trapping more contaminants. This is especially great for households with pets or smokers
Hepa $20 – $120

Hepa filters are the strong filters. You may have one on your vacuum. These are for people with allergies or special needs when it comes to air quality. However, they may be too dense for your furnace’s capabilities, and could restrict airflow. Each one of these has it’s own strengths, weaknesses, and cost when it comes to your continued air quality. But how do you know which is the right one?

Size matters


We are talking about the size of the particles you are trying to trap in the filter, not whatever you were thinking. There is a standard filter rating called MERV*. A MERV rating of 1 is the lowest, 20 is the highest. But a higher rating doesn’t necessarily mean better. The higher the rating the lower the airflow, making your heating and cooling system work harder and could become inefficient. Furthermore, reducing airflow can actually make your air quality worse!
*MERV – Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value*

It’s all about finding the right balance. A filter rated between MERV 8 and 13 can handle pretty much everything in a typical household, and should be just right to fight your indoor air grime. Anything higher is usually found in healthcare settings like hospitals. If you have environmental allergies, or are immunocompromised you may want something a little stronger in a filter. Consult a certified heating and cooling specialist for help making sure that your equipment can handle it.

How to change a furnace filter


Your furnace filter has fought hard to keep your home free of allergens and particulates, but eventually will succumb to the onslaught of interior air pollution. That’s where you come in. An air filter for a furnace needs to be changed every 4 to 9 months, especially in households with smokers or pets, or cleaned every 90 days for washable filters.

How to change a disposable furnace filter

  1. Turn off the furnace and furnace fan so that loose dust will not get circulated while you’re working.
  2. Locate where the filter is held and gently slide it out into a waiting bag or bin. Be careful not to jostle it or shake it, those particles are no longer contained and will break free into the air.
  3. If it’s been a while, you may need to vacuum in and around the filter housing.
  4. Remove the new filter from any packaging as necessary, Using a permanent marker, write the date on the frame, so you know when it was last changed, and slide the filter into the filter housing. Ensure that the -> arrow is pointing towards the furnace.

How to change a washable furnace filter

  1. Turn off the furnace and furnace fan so that loose dust will not get circulated while you’re working.
  2. Locate where the filter is held and gently slide it out into a waiting bin. Be careful not to jostle it or shake it, those particles are no longer contained and will break free into the air.
  3. Vacuum in and around the filter housing.
  4. Use a vacuum to suck up the worst of the loose particulates, then rinse the filter under running water, you can use the hose outside if you like.
  5. Allow the filter to dry completely before returning it to the filter housing. Ensure that the -> arrow is pointing towards the furnace.

If you have a Napoleon brand furnace, most of our furnaces take 16 x 25 -inch filters. We recommend MERV 11 filters for the best performance and filtering. A furnace filter on a Napoleon Furnace is located right beside the cold air return, in a spot that connects between the ductwork and blower cabinet (bottom of the furnace). There’s a small rectangular sheet of metal, that you need to pull off, that covers the furnace filter.

MERV 11 Filters Remove MERV 11 Filters Don’t Remove
Pollen Tobacco Smoke
Dust/Lint Smoke
Dust Mites Bacteria
Debris Virus Carriers
Pet Dander Microscopic Allergens
Mold Spores
Car Fumes/Smog

PRO TIPS:

Furnace filters come in a variety of sizes. If you don’t already know the size of the filter you need, it will be printed on the border of your current filter.

Turn off your furnace, or air conditioner, while changing the filter, this will ensure that it doesn’t accidentally come on while you’re working, or waiting for the washable filter to dry.

Now that you know how to help that silent hero, the furnace filter, battling grime in the dark depths of your furnace, are you inspired to clean it? You can find out why it’s so important to clean your furnace filter by reading up on Indoor Air Pollution. To keep up to date with more tips and articles on Napoleon Heating And Cooling Products, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Happy Heating.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Professional Centere D Information