If you're looking to reduce dust and other airborne particles in your home, changing your furnace filter regularly is a great way to start. The Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value (MERV) rating of your filter is key to ensuring your HVAC system is protected against dust, dirt, and wear and tear. A high-quality furnace filter designed to filter small particles can remove many allergens from the air and provide relief for allergy sufferers. Pleated furnace filters provide more surface area to filter contaminants and are a popular alternative to conventional fiberglass filters.
These filters have a MERV 11 rating, which means they filter more than 90 percent of particles between 1 and 3 microns in size. All disposable filters have a manufacturer-recommended replacement program, but how often you need to replace your furnace filter depends on usage and lifestyle factors. For those looking for improved allergen and odor control, a furnace filter with a MERV rating of 8 and an FPR rating of 6 is recommended. This type of filter will capture contaminants such as dust, pollen, mold spores, and dander.
If you're only concerned about capturing large particles for the sake of the longevity of your HVAC system, then the affordable Rheem indoor air filter is an economical option. It's important to note that MERV filters in this range restrict airflow more than low-MERV filters, as measured by the drop in air pressure that filters create when installed. Board-certified allergists may have different opinions about furnace filters and dust allergies, but all agree that replacing or cleaning filters regularly is an important maintenance task to reduce odors and keep an oven running efficiently.