What Your Don't Know About Filters

Furnace Filter

All I need is the air that I breathe and a filter.

Hmm… Is that the way the Hollies meant to sing this?

Well, maybe not, but in today’s world it’s good to filter the air we breathe.

Brad Nale here with a few words about air filters. You may call them furnace filters. In fact, most people call them furnace filters. The terms, they are a changing, though. Now called air filters, even though they still reside in your furnace. So many people have air conditioning along with their forced-air furnaces here in the Rocky Mountain region it just seems odd to call them furnace filters any more.

Most of us don’t think about breathing, it comes pretty naturally for the most part. Most of us don’t think about the air we breathe. Maybe on an inversion day when the brown cloud is ugly, but usually not in our homes. Well, seeing that most of us spend at least a third of our lives at home and most of us breathe while we’re doing that, it’s high time we start thinking about how we filter the air in our homes.

Your HVAC system can do a great job of circulating the air in your home. Not, however, if its air filter is clogged. Trust me, at Ace Hardware stores we have seen many filters that could hardly get one molecule of air through them. Don’t let your filter become this clogged. Change your air filters on a regular basis. The time will vary depending on what type of filter you use, but don’t forget about them and allow them to look like some really gross science project before you change them.

What type should you buy? Well, one simple rule: Pass on the cheap, fiberglass filters using technology from the 1950’s. These will trap a leaf, but not much of anything smaller. They’re not worth your time. Spend just a wee bit more and get a pleated air filter that will really filter your air. How much will they filter? Well they range from a lot to an amazing amount. They are rated in MERV, Minimum Efficiency Rating Value. The higher values mean finer filtration, allowing fewer particles and contaminants through the filter and in to the air you breathe. Many of your local Ace Hardware stores feature 3M Filtrete brand filters. Filtrete filters are available in many MERV levels and have some of the finest filtration available. If you’re in to smart devices, look no further than Filtrete’s new line of smart air filters. These filters have a sensor on them that will send a message to your smart phone when they need to be changed.


Have an odd size filter? Come see us at Ace. We stock or can order darn near every filter size known to man. Save yourself a second trip to the store and look at the size of your old filter before you come see us. Save yourself confusion for the next time you need a filter and tape the label from your filter near your furnace. Then you can take a quick picture of the label on your phone, and easily match it when you’re in your local Ace Hardware store.

So mark your calendars, change your filters regularly, and choose the right MERV rating for you. Your HVAC system and your lungs will thank you.