top of page

This article was created with the assistance of AI technology. Some sentences and phrases may be generated by a computer program, but always checked by a human for accuracy

The Importance of Air Filters for Furnaces: Tips for Buying and Maintaining in Ohio

When it comes to maintaining your home's heating and cooling system, air filters play a crucial role. The primary function of an air filter is to trap airborne particles, such as dust, dirt, and pet dander, before they enter the furnace. This helps prevent the accumulation of debris in the furnace, which can cause damage to the system over time. In this article, we'll discuss the importance of air filters for furnaces and provide tips for buying and maintaining them in Mansfield, Ohio.

"I change my air filter about as often as I change my toothbrush, which is to say, not often enough."

Let's face it, air filters may not be the sexiest thing in the world, but they're crucial to keeping your furnace running smoothly. As one homeowner put it, "I change my air filter about as often as I change my toothbrush, which is to say, not often enough." But neglecting your air filter can lead to all sorts of problems, from reduced efficiency to breakdowns, and nobody wants to be left out in the cold. So don't be like that forgetful toothbrush user—set a reminder to check and change your air filter regularly, and keep your furnace purring like a kitten.

Why Air Filters Matter

The air filter is a critical component of your furnace system. It helps protect your furnace's internal components, such as the blower motor, from the buildup of dust and debris. When your furnace runs with a dirty or clogged filter, it has to work harder to pull air through the system, which can lead to reduced efficiency and higher energy bills.

Air filters can also impact the quality of the air in your home. While they are not intended to clean breathing air, they can help reduce the number of airborne particles and allergens in the air. This can be particularly important for individuals with allergies or respiratory issues.

Disposable Air Filters

Tips for Buying Disposable Air Filters

When it comes to buying air filters for your furnace, there are a few things to keep in mind.

First, consider the MERV rating. MERV stands for Minimum Efficiency Reporting Value and measures the filter's ability to capture particles of different sizes. Higher MERV ratings can capture smaller particles, but they can also reduce airflow and prematurely wear out your system. In general, a MERV rating of 8-11 is suitable for most homes.

Second, consider the type of filter. There are several options available, including fiberglass, pleated, and electrostatic filters. Fiberglass filters are the most affordable but also the least effective. Pleated filters are a step up in terms of filtration and airflow, while electrostatic filters use static electricity to attract and trap particles.

Finally, consider the size of the filter. Most furnaces require a specific size of filter, so be sure to check your furnace's manual or consult with a professional to ensure you get the right size.

Tips for Maintaining Disposable Air Filters

To ensure that your furnace is running at peak efficiency and providing clean, healthy air, we recommend changing your air filter regularly. How often you need to change your filter will depend on a number of factors, such as the type of filter you have and the level of air pollution in your home. In general, though, most filters should be changed every one to three months.

In general, though, most filters should be changed every one to three months

It's also important to check your filter regularly. If you notice that your filter is dirty or clogged, it's time for a replacement. Neglecting to change your filter can lead to reduced airflow, increased energy bills, and even system damage.

Washable Air Filters

Washable air filters are an alternative to disposable filters, and are designed to be cleaned and reused rather than replaced. While washable filters can be a more eco-friendly option, they also have some potential drawbacks.


  • Reusability: Washable air filters can be cleaned and reused multiple times, reducing waste and potentially saving money over time.

  • Environmental impact: By reducing the number of disposable filters that end up in landfills, washable filters can be a more sustainable choice.

  • Filtering effectiveness: High-quality washable filters can be just as effective as disposable filters at trapping allergens, dust, and other contaminants.


  • Cleaning requirements: Unlike disposable filters, washable filters require regular cleaning to maintain their effectiveness. Neglecting to clean the filter can lead to decreased filtering efficiency and even damage to the furnace.

  • Cost: While washable filters can save money in the long run by eliminating the need for disposable filters, they can be more expensive up front.

  • Allergen buildup: If not cleaned regularly, washable filters can actually trap allergens and other contaminants and hold onto them, which can reduce indoor air quality over time.

How to Maintain Washable Air Filters

To keep washable air filters functioning effectively, it's important to follow a regular maintenance routine. This typically involves cleaning the filter on a monthly or quarterly basis, depending on the manufacturer's recommendations and the level of use. The following steps can help keep washable filters in top condition:

  1. Turn off the furnace: Before removing the filter, be sure to turn off the furnace to prevent any debris or dust from being circulated through the system.

  2. Remove the filter: Depending on the type of filter, this may involve sliding it out of a slot, unlatching it from a door, or otherwise releasing it from its housing.

  3. Clean the filter: Wash the filter with warm water and mild soap, and rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue. Be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions, as some filters may require a specific cleaning process.

  4. Dry the filter: After cleaning, allow the filter to air dry completely before reinserting it into the furnace.

By following these steps, property owners can ensure that their washable air filters are functioning properly and providing effective filtration for their furnace system. For more information on washable filters and other air filtration options, consult with a qualified HVAC technician or home inspector.

NOTE: Air Filters Are Not Intended to Clean Breathing Air

It's important to note that air filters are not designed to clean breathing air. While they can help remove pollutants from the air in your home, they're not a substitute for a dedicated air purifier or other specialized air cleaning system.

If filtering breathing air is your goal, there are several options to consider, including standalone air purifiers, whole-house air purifiers, and UV germicidal lights. Each of these options has its pros and cons, so it's essential to do your research and choose the one that's best for your needs.

If filtering breathing air is your goal, there are several options to consider, including standalone air purifiers, whole-house air purifiers, and UV germicidal lights.


Your furnace's air filter plays a crucial role in maintaining the efficiency and longevity of your heating system. Choosing the right air filter can be challenging, but buying tips including MERV ratings, size, and material can help. Higher MERV ratings can provide better filtration, but they can also put more strain on your furnace, so it's important to choose an appropriate rating to prevent premature wear on the system. Regular filter changes are essential to ensure that your furnace is running at peak efficiency, reducing energy bills and extending the life of your system.

We're only a phone call away!


Call us

​for a price estimate

- or -

bottom of page