Which Furnace Filter Lasts the Longest?
Summer is almost over, fall is around the corner, and winter is shortly thereafter. With each season flying by, it’s natural to want to get a head start on preparation for the colder months ahead. Making sure your HVAC system is maintained is a part of that, and you shouldn’t forget about furnace filters because they are central to achieving that goal.
One of the main questions you may consider when choosing your furnace filter is probably “which furnace filter lasts the longest”. Furnace filters, also known as air filters, are generally divided into two types of filters: fiberglass, and poly-pleated filters. To understand which truly lasts the longest, we’ll talk about both.
Fiberglass filters’ main benefit is that they are relatively inexpensive compared to pleated filters. They are made of spun glass that is framed by cardboard. Both pleated and fiberglass filters do the same job, catching lint, pet dander, and dust.
Fiberglass filters have less filtering capability because they have less surface area. Although they have no trouble catching large-sized elements, they have difficulty capturing small-sized particles. They do not commonly go beyond MERV 4. This means a lot of bacteria, viruses, and other airborne contaminants will escape its grasp.
For those unfamiliar with the MERV (Minimum Efficiency Rating Value), check out this blog for more information. Due to its inability to capture small particles below 10 microns, people who suffer from respiratory issues probably should avoid fiberglass filters.
The saying “what you get is what you pay for” applies to fiberglass filters, as the cheap price usually means the quality of materials the filters are made with is low.
Pleated Air Filters
Pleated air filters are more expensive upfront than their counterparts, but the cost of a well-made product is usually returned in spades. They are made of polyester, cotton, or paper folded accordion-like sheets contained in cardboard. The value you receive for paying a bit more is the high quality of the filter.
This filter has more surface area, which means it can capture not just more, but tinier particles. With pleated furnace filters, you have varying degrees of efficiency. If you have allergy issues, asthma, or other respiratory problems then you have the option of upgrading your MERV level to suit your needs. The highest MERV level usable for home operation is MERV 13.
Pleated filters can save you money in the long run because they provide better protection for your HVAC system, meaning less chance for expensive maintenance costs!
So which furnace filter has the longest lifespan?
A brand-new fiberglass filter will not impede airflow – initially. But therein lies the caveat, it only performs optimally for the first couple of weeks. After a month of use, a fiberglass filter can become clogged and impair airflow.
Pleated filters can be changed every three months in comparison before they lose efficiency. In the end, a pleated filter wins the durability war thanks to the superiority of its make. A pleated filter will be the best option for enhancing your indoor air quality.
If you need help maintaining your HVAC by changing your furnace filter, joining FiltersFast.com’s Home Filter Club can help. We have the top brands for your replacement filter, including 3M Filtrete, AprilAire, Honeywell, as well as our own FiltersFast.com brand. Just sign up, enter your delivery frequency, and kick back while we go to work!
EcoBlueLife.com is a replacement water and air filter company located in the United States. The views and opinions contained herein are solely those of the original author and do not represent Eco Blue Life or its affiliates. This article was originally published on FiltersFast.com