Cleaning the Air

by Tom Olecki, Owner, Broadview Heating

At the end of last month’s expert article, I mentioned that we should not be using the 1-inch pleated filters available from our local home improvement stores. Since this statement generated quite a few “I need more information” phone calls, this week I am going to go into more detail.
Clean air in our homes is very important to our health – not just in the winter, but all year long. Your furnace filter is vital to removing the dust we can see, but also should be able to remove microscopic particles, such as pollen and other allergens, that can make breathing uncomfortable.
Since a lot of air has to pass through the filter, we must be careful that the filter does not become too restrictive. If a filter is going to stop dust particles efficiently, its media must become dense which hurts airflow. When a filter restricts airflow, it cuts the operating efficiency of your furnace or air conditioner. Some of the worst filters we have tested are the pleated 1-inch filters you can buy at the DIY stores for about $20. Sure, these filter the air better, but they also severely cut efficiency and can even damage your furnace. I recommend if your filter is only 1 inch thick, stick with the inexpensive throw away fiberglass filter or the filter that came with your furnace from the manufacturer. Replace it once a month or wash it if it is a permanent filter. Remember though that typical fiberglass filters are only about 10% efficient and should really be called hair and lint filters as the dust particles that really affect our health get blown right back into our homes.
To enjoy the benefits of cleaner air in your home without affecting air flow, you must replace your skinny 1-inch filter with a deep-pleated media filter. Deep- pleated filters are at least 4 inches thick and around 85% efficient. Most deep-pleated media filters last six to 12 months so the yearly cost is actually less than the 1-inch DIY filters.
If allergies are a real concern, a Charged Media air filter is the best choice. This is the most efficient filter you can buy for your furnace (up to 95% efficient) and it will trap even the smallest allergens. Plus, they keep your furnace fan and coils like new, which extends the efficiency throughout the lifetime of the system.

Questions are always welcome. For free help with your heating/cooling system, ask the experts at or call 440-526-7310.

Tom Olecki, Owner, Broadview Heating

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Questions are always welcome. For free help with your heating/cooling system, ask the experts at or call 440-526-7310.

Opinions and claims expressed above are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of ScripType Publishing.