Talking about the importance of your furnace filter may not be the most exciting conversation in world, but it is an incredibly important one. Historically, furnace filters were designed primarily to protect your furnace and fans from dirt, dust, and other particulates. However, with the increased awareness regarding the effects of indoor air pollution, furnace filters are back in the limelight.
In order to decide what furnace filter is the best fit for your home, it is important for you understand what indoor air pollution really is and why a quality furnace filter may be a safer alternative to the standard fiberglass filter.
A Quick Look at Airborne Particulates That Can Be Found In Your Home
Indoor air pollution can be linked to many different sources. It can be dirt and dust that has been stirred up by daily household activities. Dust and other chemicals sneak into your home by smoking, using certain types of candles, cooking, and even doing the laundry. A large percentage of indoor air pollution is actually linked back to dead skin that falls of the people and pets living in the house. Of course, air pollution for outside can also find its way inside your house as well.
Some of these particles are so small that they can be inhaled and exhaled without being trapped in your lungs, while extremely large particles can be trapped in your nose and nasal passages without ever reaching your lungs. However, the particulates that are most dangerous are the ones that get trapped in your lungs and stay there.
Everyone can see dust that has gathered throughout your home, such as on your television or shelving, but the real danger lies in respirable particles. These are the particles that you cannot see and are often the primary culprits that provoke a variety of respiratory illnesses. These types of particulates include smoke, mold, bacteria, viruses, dust mites, and allergens.
Choosing a Quality Furnace Filter
Furnace filters have the ability to remove a large amount of indoor air pollution, however not all filters are created the same. Traditional fiberglass furnace filters have been proven to only be able to trap the largest of airborne particulates. Recently, it has also been shown that fiberglass furnace filters have a tendency to break down as air passes through it, thus releasing microscopic pieces of fiberglass into your home and into the air that you breathe.
High quality furnace filters have the ability to capture much smaller airborne particulates, which will decrease the overall level of air pollution in your house. They are also made from much safer material that will not break down and release into your homes air.
Indoor air pollution is going to continue to gain public notice until more effective means are designed and implemented inside a majority of homes. Until then, a high quality furnace filter has proven to be one of the best options available. It also has the added benefit of being a very economically efficient option as well.