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What Is a Furnace Filter Actually?

It’s no surprise that many people have no idea how their furnaces work or what their filters do. HVAC systems come in many different shapes, sizes, and with different purposes. Whether it’s for ventilation, cooling, or heating, it’s important to understand how each component works to know what to do if something goes wrong. This is extremely important when it comes to the filters because it’s the simplest part of an HVAC system. Read on to learn more about what the furnace filter can do.

What Is a Furnace Filter?

Furnace Filter

A furnace filter is an important component that helps with air quality. It keeps out any contaminants from entering the airflow. Not only does it keep contaminants from being recirculated in the air, but it also protects your furnace’s blower fan from dust, gunk, and hair. This means that the fan will continue to run smoothly and not get damaged over time from something constricting its movement.

Can Furnace Filters Get Damaged?

Filters are built to be durable, sturdy, and strong to operate for many years. However, nothing stays new and it can get damaged over time. If it has been damaged, you should research and learn more about how to replace a furnace filter. You can click here to understand that replacing filters is based on its dimensions for the correct size. This will give you an idea of the exact size measurements of your filter to get a proper replacement. However, if your filter didn’t come with dimensions, then you need to measure the opening and the roundup of your filter unit. Keep in mind that before you jump to the decision of replacing your filter, you need to inspect it first. It could be just too clogged and covered in dust, stopping your furnace from operating at its full potential. Make sure that it’s regularly cleaned and maintained for better performance. When your air is not working properly anymore, the HVAC parts such as the gas valve might be damaged.

Does It Clean the Air Indoors? 

There is a common misconception that an air filter can clean the air indoors, but that isn’t exactly its purpose. If you want something to clean the air then you need an air purifier. A filter doesn’t have the capabilities of purifying or cleaning the air; it just keeps the furnace protected from these contaminants by trapping them. It also prevents these bad air particles from going back into your room.

Can Thick Filters Reduce Performance? 

A lot of people believe that thick filters aren’t good for performance and increase their energy usage. But that isn’t the case at all because it’s not about how thick the filter is. This misconception started when people understood that what blocks the airflow is the buildup of dust and hair. They then inferred that thick filters will get clogged quickly and will not give better results. However, you need to understand that modern furnace units went through different upgrades and have evolved over the years. This means that your filter will still protect the blower fan and it will not reduce the performance of the heating system. Also, you don’t have to worry about expensive utility bills from thick filters because it doesn’t make a difference relative to any other type. The only difference between other filter types is the capability of trapping the dust and other particles from damaging your furnace.

What Is the MERV Scale?

The MERV scale stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. This is how you can tell if your filter is of high quality or not. It’s the rating system for filters and it gives you an idea of its capabilities or price. The main idea is that filters with higher MERV ratings offer you the best performance and results. It shows you how superior the filtration system is and how many types of bad air particles it can trap, whether it’s hair, dust, pollen, bacteria, smoke, spores, and a lot more. High MERV ratings mean your filter will not strain your system easily. It reduces the strain by improving the airflow within your furnace. Make sure you pick your filter based on the MERV scale.

Many people underestimate the importance of a furnace filter. If anything bad should happen to it, your furnace won’t operate properly and might shut down completely. You need to make sure that it’s not dirty, clogged, or damaged in any way. Once you understand the basics, you might not even need to call for an HVAC professional to inspect your furnace. You could save time and money if you do a little research and learn all you can about these types of filters and how they work.