Tuesday, October 2, 2012

furnace filters

Today's post is more mundane than the past two days but no less mind boggling. 

I normally buy our furnace filters from Home Depot.  When I go there, I am always confronted by a myriad of choices at varying prices. The expensive ones tout all sort of hygienic features, telling you what sort of nanoscopic harmful creatures are screened out because of the fineness of the filter material. There's always a "good," "better" and "best" choice.  Is that sort of like how eggs come in "extra large," "jumbo" and "Flintstones" sizes

Naturally I want to get a filter that does its job properly but also naturally, I don't want to spend an arm and a leg either. 

As I stood there pondering the selection, here is the logic that I used. The air duct where the filter is located is inside of our house. That means that the air being circulated is air that is already in the house. Air that we've already been breathing. 

Granted, the air gets sucked through the filter and the filter catches the particles before letting it go through the duct to the air conditioner (or heater, although it seems like we have a perpetual summer) where it gets cooled off and shot back into the house. So the air coming back into the house is cleaner, or theoretically so, than the air coming out of the house. 

That's fine, but what happens when it cools off outside and we open the windows?  Then all that dirty air comes flying back into the house. So what is the point of having a furnace filter that catches particles as small as .000000001 of a micron and even filters the air out of the air?  

I guess we could keep the house hermetically sealed and continue living off the recirculated air, but (1) wouldn't we eventually breathe all the oxygen so what gets circulated will not do us any good, or (2) wouldn't we eventually have to open the door for some reason?  Plus, leaving the air conditioner on constantly would mean bankruptcy filing because of our electric bill. 

But think about it - doesn't what I say make sense?  If you have outside air coming into your house when the air conditioner or heater isn't running, then why spend all that extra money to get real expensive filters?  You can't escape from all the ewww stuff they catch anyway.       

4 comments:

www.filtrete.com said...

Hi Rickie, I am Rachel with Filtrete(TM) Filters. I enjoyed reading your post as well as your logic. You are correct in many of your points. I guess if no one in your home has asthma or allergies you would be fine using any of our filters between our 300 and 1000 series. They are all given an electrostatic charge so they not only filter those micron size particles but also hold on to those larger ones instead of them laying in your duct work. Check out our website at www.filtrete.com for further information. Thanks again for your comments.

Rickie Miyake said...

Hi Rachel, Thank you for your post. I'm sort of surprised you ran across my blog but I guess you must do a search for posts about furnace filters? Anyway, I need to get some more filters so I will try the Filtrete brand this time, because of your comment. Thanks!

Lauren jonczak said...

Great post. I just bought my first house and I know nothing when it comes to furnace filters. I was told I had to use bryant furnace filters. Is that true, or can I use any kind of filter. I love having the windows open on a nice cool day so I guess I will stay away from the really expensive filters if they are not going to work any better than a cheaper filter. Thanks so much for sharing Rickie, this was very helpful.

Furnace Filters said...

It’s important to change your furnace filters regularly. It will keep the air in your home clean and safe.

Furnace Filters