I know we all want to save money. I love saving money. I love walking into my favorite store to discover they are having a huge, storewide sale. I love getting an email from a website that I frequently visit with a special promo code. And, I especially love advice on how to save money and get more “bang for my buck”.
So, I’m sure you’re saying, “Yes, I love these things too. Who doesn’t? But how do air filters help save me money?” Well, hold on. I’m about to tell you.
First, I must assume that you probably aren’t too educated in the field of filters. I mean, who is? Besides the people in the HVAC industry or the manufacturers of filters, very few people have a thorough knowledge of the air filters they place in their air return.
So, let me put it this way – if you are using the blue filters that you can practically see through, then you’re using the cheap filters.
These filters are known as, fiberglass filters. The fiberglass filters, while inexpensive, aren’t really doing much in the way of protecting your unit. In fact, if you hold a fiberglass filter up and pour a handful of sand on it, every grain will fall through. That’s not very comforting is it?
The above picture is a fiberglass filter being used as an air cleaner for a box fan. As you can see, the filter is nearly transparent. You can see every bit of the fan behind it. So what really could this filter be stopping – besides maybe your child’s finger from going between the grates?
Fiberglass filters will not save you money.
Maybe you just bought your house and the contractor or realtor gave you an entire box of these blue filters. How nice of them. They just gave you a $5 gift for a $100,000+ purchase. I would suggest, unless you plan on doing something “pinteresting” with these filters, you should throw them out.
The HVAC unit in your home is one of the most expensive elements of your house. Why wouldn’t you protect it? If you’re normal, you have at least two locks on every door that leads outside to protect your belongings, and I’m sure you have taken quite a few steps in making sure that flat screen TV is mounted securely on your wall. So, why not provide the same security for your HVAC unit?
The best way I have found to save money with air filters is to purchase pleated filters. Pleated filters generally are given MERV ratings.
“What on earth is a MERV rating?” you may ask?
MERV stands for the Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value. Designed by the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers, it is a number intended to help people compare different filters. So basically, a higher MERV rating indicates better filter performance. (For a complete list of filters with different MERV ratings and their definitions, click here.)
This is a Pleated filter. Just like those pleated pants that no one wears anymore, these filters have a sort of “wrinkle” in them. The pleats allow the filter to have a larger surface area. A larger surface area allow for more room to capture tiny particles. More room to capture tiny particles allow for a longer life for the filter. A longer life for the filter allows for you to go use that extra money on that promo code your favorite website just emailed to you. Get where I’m going?
Pleated filters will save you money.
True, filters with higher MERV ratings can be more expensive initially, but they generally are a better filter. After all, you do get what you pay for. And if you don’t mind dust, pollen, cockroach allergens, or dust mites hanging out with you on the sofa, then by all means, continue to use the fiberglass filters. (Check this out to learn more about what might be trapped inside your home with you.)
So if you think you are saving money by getting the cheaper stuff, you might want to consider how often you are replacing them first. Which, I’ll go ahead and tell you, is all the time.
Hopefully, this advice has been of some use to you. If you’d like to switch to a pleated filter now, visit our website at www.Filters-NOW.com – where we dislike fiberglass filters so much, that we don’t even carry them.