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Air Filter Buying Guide
Heating and cooling probably constitutes a big part of your utility bill. But it’s one small thing—the air filter—that keeps the entire central air system humming along. A dirty filter can restrict airflow, preventing the system from working like it’s supposed to, and that can eventually lead to an equipment breakdown. If you’re getting low airflow, check the air filter—a clogged filter is one of the most common reasons.Get more news about home air filter,you can vist our website!
The best air filters trap indoor pollutants such as dust, pet dander, and pollen, helping to clean the air in your home. That’s important because the concentration of air pollutants inside your home can be two to five times higher than concentrations typically found outdoors. And by typically, we mean on days when no heavy smog or wildfire smoke has seeped into your home. A good air filter can help with that, too. Any air filter that scores well in our tests is a good choice for clearing the air during smoke conditions.
Of course, air filters aren’t the only filters you should be monitoring and/or replacing to keep the air and water in your home clean. Here’s a rundown of the 12 filters you should be changing. For more information on the individual products that use filters, such as air purifiers, room air conditioners, and dehumidifiers, check out their dedicated buying guides.
Read on to learn more about our air filter tests and which type of filter is best for your forced-air heating and cooling system.
Consumer Reports tests air filters for homes with forced-air heating and cooling systems. We test airflow resistance, which measures how freely air flows through the filter. Our recommended models are the best at filtering dust, pollen, and smoke from the air without impeding the flow of air.
Most air filters are 1 inch thick, but some systems can accommodate filters 2 to 5 inches thick. In our tests, we found that the thicker the filter, the better it works and the longer the replacement intervals. That means it’s better for you and for your heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) system.
Air Filter Pros and Cons
Changing out an air filter is easy. You slip out the old filter and slide in the replacement. Some are conventional fiberglass filters; others are pleated or electrically charged to pick up particles. (Note that the electrically charged versions are not actually electrically powered, even when they have names like Electroclean, and they don’t produce ozone.)
Air filters generally come in a range of standard sizes, with a few that can adapt to fit different-sized filter-box or return-air openings.
For thicker filters to fit, you may need to have your ductwork modified by a professional. The filters must be replaced every one to three months.